How many Bordeaux Chateaux have Irish roots?

When my wife and I were travelling on the southern coast of Ireland, we went to the International Museum of Wine at Desmond Castle in Kinsale. It seemed like a silly thing to do, but we got an interesting education on the Irish emigration down the coast to Bordeaux as the result of, according to the museum docent, British Protestant oppression of the local Catholics causing them to flee down the coast to France, a Catholic country. They had a list of Chateaux with Irish heritage, including Leoville Barton, Cantenac Brown, Lynch Bages, Langoa Barton, Kirwan, Phelan Segur and a lot more. I seem to recall they claimed an Irish ancestry to Yquem, but the Irish ancestor had a generation with no sons so the name was changed to his daughter’s husband’s surname at some point. I found an article today that said 14 Chateuax have Irish names, but I can’t figure out which ones they are. Add to that Mouton, owned by a Jewish family (heaven forbid) at least back to 1855, and you have an interesting polyglot history to a region that that we now think of as those monolithic Bordelais.

Just thinking to pass the time.

O’Brian (Haut Brion)

Hi Jay,

A lot of the châteaux people think are of English origin are, in fact, of Irish origin.

Although Yquem and Haut-Brion have no connection with Ireland, the following (above and beyond the ones you mentioned) do: Boyd-Cantenac, Phélan-Ségur, Kirwan, Clarke, Dillon, etc. Two very famous Irish families in the wine business also came from Ireland: the Lawtons and the Johnstons.

I recommend this book, which explains a lot of the history:

Best regards,
Alex R.

Was just discussing this with the wife, who has Scottish and Irish heritage. We bought some library wines from Leoville-Barton recently and have various vintages of Lynch-Bages in the cellar. I think Cantenac-Brown has Irish roots also.



Brown was from Scotland.

Oh, I forgot to mention Château Mc Carthy in St. Estèphe!

Alex R.


Right you are.


The Museum of wine would disagree with you on this and on Yquem, but my review of some Yquem history is inconclusive. There was in fact a female line that married a Lurton, but she had a French name and does not explan things.


You wrote:

“The Museum of wine would disagree with you on this and on Yquem, but my review of some Yquem history is inconclusive”

Those two châteaux are customers of mine and I know the history pretty well.

I can’t see any Irish connection at all.

Do you know of any?

Best regards,
Alex R.

I thought that since Phylloxera, they are mostly on American roots.