Château Branaire Ducru
After acknowledging the unrealized potential of this sleeping beauty in viticulture, Patrick Maroteaux and his family bought Château Branaire-Ducru in 1988. They decided to write a new chapter in the history of this fourth grand cru classé from 1855 and embarked on a large-scale renovation and work involving all the components that contribute to the production of great wine: the vines, the barrel house and the cellars, as well as the Château itself, which is the most visible representation of an estate.
Patrick Maroteaux also became an ambassador of Bordeaux and Branaire-Ducru, where he was president of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux from 2000 to 2008 and the Saint-Julien appellation from 2004 to 2017. François-Xavier Maroteaux took over management of the domain in 2017.
Château Branaire-Ducru is located in the heart of the Medoc, between Margaux and Pauillac in the Saint-Julien appellation. It is surrounded by the other great Classified Growths that populate this excellent terroir. The vines grow in a mixture of gravel and pebbles, deposited there by the Garonne River in the Quaternary. From the top of their hills, called "hills", they overlook the vast estuary of the Gironde, locally referred to as "the river".
The vineyard is made up of about fifteen different micro-terroirs and covers 60 hectares (nearly 150 hectares) that lie east to west across the southern part of the appellation area. The average age of the vines is 35 years. They grow in quaternary silicon and gravelly alluvium, making this terroir one of the warmest in the region. This allows our Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to reach perfect phenolic maturity here, while the Merlot thrives on clay beds.
The Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for 65%, the largest part of our vines. It really is a star variety that has multiple layers, structure and great presence on the palate while remaining fresh and fruity with an intense array of aromas. 28% of our vines is Merlot, the good companion that makes our wines round and smooth. The 3% Cabernet Franc proportion builds on the floral notes of the wine. And last but not least, 4% Petit Verdot, the signature Medoc variety, adds spicy notes to our best blends.
The decisions made here have always been motivated by the need to protect the exceptional terroir on which the estate is located. We are aware of the impact of our production on the environment, which is why we are committed to the Bordeaux Wine Environmental Management System, based on the international ISO 14001 standard. The estate has been certified since 2020. The property has also been classified as High Environmental Value (HVE) level 3 since 2017. Château Branaire-Ducru is constantly working on improvement and acts as a responsible player in the protection of the environment, applying a CSR approach, in which the social and environmental dimensions are integrated into its economic strategy. It obtained the CSR label "Bordeaux Cultivons Demain" (level 1) in 2022.