A family estate
The first deeds that feature in the history of the property date back to 1680, when Jean-Baptiste Braneyre, saw the extraordinary potential of this stony terroir and bought a precious piece of the Beychevelle estate.
His descendants, the Du Luc family, built the Château in 1824. With its neo-classical style, it has the appeal inherent in Palladian residences. The estate was then inherited by a relative, Gustave Ducru and remained in the family until 1919.
The official classification of Medoc Grands Crus Classés was established during the 1855 Paris World Fair by request of the Emperor Napoleon III. Branaire-Ducru was one of the 61 wines in the classification.
From the north of France and a former director of a major agri-food company, Patrick Maroteaux acquired the property and managed it on behalf of his family.
After a career in finance and with LVMH, the luxury goods conglomerate, François-Xavier Maroteaux took over from his father and strove to bring out the full value of this outstanding Saint-Julien terroir.
Having recognised the unrealised potential of this viticultural sleeping beauty, 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 of 1855 and embarked on massive refurbishment and work involving all the components that contribute to the production of great wine: the vines, the vathouse and 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, presiding over 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 the management of the estate in 2017. The history continues…
Château Branaire-Ducru is located in the heart of the Medoc, between Margaux and Pauillac in the Saint-Julien appellation area. It is surrounded by the other great Classified Growths that populate this outstanding terroir.
The vines grow in a mixture of gravel and pebbles, deposited there by the River Garonne in the Quaternary Period. From the top of their hillocks, called “mounds”, they overlook the vast Gironde Estuary, locally referred to as “the river”.
The vineyard is made up of around fifteen different micro-terroirs and covers 60 hectares (nearly 150 acres) that lie from East to West across the Southern part of the appellation area.
The average age of the vines is 35 years. They grow in quaternary silicious and gravel alluvium, which makes this terroir one of the warmest in the region.
As a result, our Cabernet Sauvignon grapes achieve perfect phenolic ripeness here, while the Merlot flourishes on beds of clay.
The Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for 65%, the majority of our vines. It is truly a star variety that contributes multiple layers, structure and great presence on the palate, while remaining fresh and fruity with an intense range of aromas.
28% of our vines are Merlot, which is the good companion variety that makes our wines round and supple. The 3% share of Cabernet Franc builds on the wine’s floral notes.
And last but not least, 4% of Petit Verdot, the characteristic Medoc variety, add spicy hints to our finest blends.
A vision of commitment
The decisions taken 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 “High Environmental Value” (HVE) level 3 since 2017.
Continuously improving, Château Branaire-Ducru acts as a responsible player in the protection of the environment, and implements a CSR approach, integrating the social and environmental dimensions into its economic strategy. It obtained the CSR label ” Cultivons Demain” (level 2 ) in 2023.
Château Branaire-Ducru is a member of the 1st Association for the Bordeaux Wine SME certified ISO 14001.