The estate which would become Chateau d'Yquem was formerly owned by the King of England before the whole Bordeaux region was annexed by the French crown at the close of the Hundred Years War. Tenure of the estate was given to the Sauvage family in 1593, who would build the Chateau and eventually become full owners in 1711.
The wines produced were already being given appreciative reviews by connoisseurs, and the estate was labeled as the only Superior First Growth among Bordeaux white wines in 1855. What followed was a period of great prosperity with Chateau d'Yquem carrying immense value and being enjoyed worldwide, including Meiji Japan.
The phylloxera crisis and the First World War started a decline of both trade and quality in the wine. An excellent 1975 vintage would be the catalyst to return Chateau d'Yquem to the track it had left over half a century before, giving freedom to invest in modern technology, increasing production and quality over each successive year.
The 113 hectares represented by Chateau d'Yquem are planted to 75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc.