Château Branaire-Ducru is the story of a Fourth Growth classified in the Official Classification of Bordeaux of 1855, which has stood the test of time and become one of the most prestigious crus in the Médoc appellation and the Bordeaux region.
Situated near the village of Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, between Margaux and Pauillac and 40 km away from Bordeaux, Château Branaire-Ducru is classified as an AOC Saint-Julien.
The history of Château Branaire-Ducru began in 1680 when Jean-Baptiste Braneyre, a royal notary in Bordeaux, acquired part of the Beychevelle estate. The current Château was built by his descendants, the Duluc family. Château Branaire earned its iconic reputation when the estate was included in the Official Classification of 1855, following an invitation from Emperor Napoleon III. Château Branaire was named Branaire-Ducru when Louis Duluc's nephew, Gustave Ducru, took over the estate in 1857.
A new chapter was written in 1988, when Patrick Maroteaux took over the running the estate. An iconic figure in the world of wine and a great ambassador of Bordeaux, he dedicated all his energy and passion to brilliantly lead a strategy to regain the terroirs by restoring Château Branaire-Ducru to its former glory. Thanks to him and to the major work carried out on the estate (total overhaul of the cellars in 1992 with the construction of one of the first gravity-fed vats and vinification by plot in small tanks with gentle extractions, fewer yields, and sustainable growing methods), Château Branaire-Ducru successfully became one of the Médoc's most prestigious Crus. Patrick Maroteaux sadly passed away in November 2017. The family legacy continues with his son, François-Xavier Maroteaux.
The vineyard of Château Branaire-Ducru spreads over 60 hectares, following a 10-hectare extension in 2010. Composed of several plots, the vineyard runs along an east-west axis in the southern part of the appellation. The vines are 35 years old on average, however, some are over a hundred years old. They rest on gravelly-siliceous alluvial soils from the Quatenary period. Recognised as one of the warmest terroirs in the region, this allows the late-ripening grape varieties to develop and ensures perfect phenolic ripeness. The vineyard perfectly characterises the Médoc with a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), 28% of Merlot, 4% of Petit Verdot and 3% of Cabernet Franc.
The style of Branaire-Ducru is defined by wines that truly stand out from the other Saint-Julien crus. Bearing a certain identity, the wines are renowned for their consistency and elegant finesse, pleasantly underlined by the presence of ripe fruit in a supple and velvety texture. Paying tribute to one of the château's historic owners, Château Branaire-Ducru also produces a Second Wine, Duluc de Branaire-Ducru, that includes a selection of the estate's youngest vines.