After those years of glory, the property was to undergo a long period of negligence on behalf of the various owners who followed, and the vineyard was left to abandon. Only the last owner, Gaston Duthuron, brought the house back to life during the shooting of the "Sagouin" a film made for television in 1972.
In 1988, the Cazes family, owners of Châteaux Lynch-Bages in Pauillac and Les Ormes de Pez in Saint-Estèphe bought the estate. Jean-Michel Cazes undertook an important renovation program at the property. Daniel Llose, general manager of the properties run by Jean-Michel, along with Guy Delestrac, began by improving the vineyard: the old parcels of land were planted again and the property was entirely equipped with an efficient draining system. The vines were once again well kept, the pruning was regular and tight and the yields well controlled. Since 1992, the white and red wines from the property, the result of strict selection, have been acknowledged for their quality. View all Ch. Villa Bel Air Wines
About GravesView a map of Graves wineries (grahv)
Named so for the gravelly base of soil common in the area, Graves is diverse in the wines it creates. Think red, white and sweet. The best reds of Graves are in Pessac-Léognan in the north, including the famed and lauded first growth, Chateau Haut Brion. There, and in the central area of Graves, come some deliciously dry white wine, while towards the south, you find the sweet wine of Sauternes & Barsac.
While Graves is most certainly known for its high-quality appellations of Pessac-Léognan and the sweet regions of the south, it also produces dome delicious wine outside of these regions, particularly in the dry white category. The two white grapes, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, are the primary components of Graves' white wines. Many of the dry, crisp style white wines contain more Sauvignon Blanc, while the fuller-bodied whites of the area focus on Semillon. Graves is also known for red wines, based on Cabernet Sauvignon, like the rest of the left bank, and blending with Merlot and some Cabernet Franc.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.