Beychevelle’s history is a long and rich one. The château's character has been tempered by three centuries of history in the hands of several powerful families, influential in the economic, political, and cultural life of the Bordeaux area, and even further afield.
As far back as the Middle Ages, when the land belonged to the Counts de Foix-Candale, the wine of Beychevelle was shipped to England, Flanders and the Germanic countries from the port at the bottom of the gardens. The Bishop François de Foix-Candale built the château in 1565. His niece, wife of Jean-Louis de Nogaret de la Valette, first Duke d'Epernon, mignon of King Henri III, Grand-Amiral of France and Governor of the Province of Guyenne, inherited the château. De Nogaret de la Valette was such a powerful man that ships sailing by his estate had to lower their sails as a sign of respect. This is the origin of the name "Beychevelle", meaning « Baisse Voile » (lower the sails). The estate has passed through many hands over the years but was classified as one of the ten Quatrièmes Crus (Fourth Growths) in the historic Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. The chateau makes a second label wine called Amiral de Beychevelle. Today it is owned by Grands Millésimes whose function is to coordinate the running of several historical estates.