Although by all accounts the vine has been rampant in these parts since at least Roman times, the earliest written mention that our archivist has discovered, citing a parcel of vines being cultivated at Haut-Brion dates back to only 1423.
In the early days wines were known by the name of the parishes from whence they came. Later they became known as clarets. In the case of Haut-Brion, under the great stewardship of the Pontac family the wine's reputation was for years represented by the name of this enlightened and well respected family-- Pontac wine.
Eventually as its renown grew, the name of the Estate came to replace that of its owners. The notion of a Great Growth was born! We find the first written mention of the wine in the Diaries of Samuel Pepys. While visiting the Royal Oak Tavern in London on April 10, 1663 Pepys wrote "There I drank a sort of French wine called Ho-Bryan (sic) which hath a good and most particular taste which I never before encountered....."