Knowing how long to wait and recognising the optimal time to pick the different grape varieties are part of an ancestral expertise, vital for a good harvest.
Every parcel is thus harvested by hand and sorted on a table to ensure that only the most perfect and healthy fruit is kept.
In 1991, Château Branaire-Ducru pioneered the use of gravity-fed tanks, eliminating the use of pumps and enabling parcel-specific vinification in 28 different vats – 10 more were added in 2010.
Today, François-Xavier Maroteaux pursues the ambitious goal of taking this initiative even further by building a fully gravity-fed vathouse featuring 75 suspended tanks, starting in January 2021.
The transformation into wine takes place slowly and calmly inside the vathouse. Checks and adjustments are automatic, but overseen by people.
The fruit from each parcel is processed in tanks of different sizes, and the different varieties are also kept separate, so that each batch is allowed to express its characteristics fully in its own time.
This essential steeping process can last up to three weeks.
Blending, the crucial step where the new vintage is written.
Since 2002, Jean-Dominique Videau has been marrying the different grape varieties with talent and expertise, creating haute couture wines at Branaire-Ducru.
In the cellar, the wine is aged to reach its purest expression.
The transformation of grape juice into wine is accomplished slowly as it becomes finer, clearer and purer.
The wine is aged in oak barrels where it matures for at least eighteen months. The barrels are made from timber selected in the best French forests. 60% of them are renewed every year.
The harvest is fully bottled at the Château.