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Saint Patrick : Ireland in Bordeaux vineyards

Since the 18th century, the flourishing trade between Bordeaux and the British Isles and Irish families have played a part in the prestige of the Bordeaux vineyards. On the occasion of Saint Patrick’s Day, we’ll be introducing in this article, three estates that have been founded or are currently owned by Irish families.

Phélan Ségur

The origins and the name of this estate in the Saint-Estèphe appellation trace back to the late 18th century. Bernard O’Phelan, a young wine merchant from central Ireland, was among the many Britons settling in Bordeaux for business. There, he met and married the daughter of Daniel Guestier, a famous merchant. With his expertise and connections, his father-in-law enabled him to acquire the Clos de Garramey in 1805, and then the Ségur de Cabanac estate in 1810, to create Château Ségur de Garramey. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that Franck Phelan, son of Bernard O’Phelan, gave the estate its current name of Château Phelan Ségur, a nod to the Irish origins of the property.


Founded in the 16th century, the estate located in Léognan and classified as a grand cru of Graves, owes its name to the Fieuzal family, who owned it until the end of the 19th century. It subsequently changed hands multiple times until 2001, when it was acquired by Brenda and Lochlann Quinn, an Irish couple passionate about French wines. For over 20 years, they have extended the longstanding shared history of Bordeaux vineyards and Ireland.


Located in Cantenac, within the Margaux appellation, Château Kirwan owes its name to the Irish merchant Mark Kirwan, who founded the estate in 1760 after marrying the daughter of Englishman Sir John Collingwood. Temporarily transformed into “Quirouen” in French, the property’s wine was praised by Thomas Jefferson in a work dedicated to Bordeaux wines. In 1855, the Kirwan family parted ways with the estate, which then passed to the Godard family. Today, it is the Schÿler family who oversees this historic Bordeaux estate.

Now, armed with the stories and flavors of these Irish-influenced Bordeaux estates, you’re all set to celebrate Saint Patrick in Bordeaux. Cheers to a delightful celebration!

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