Chateau Branaire-Ducru's New Vat House: An Innovative Tourism Space


Chateau Branaire-Ducru in Saint-Julien, Bordeaux, unveils a state-of-the-art vat house. This blend of tradition and innovation enhances wine quality and sustainability, marking a significant milestone for the esteemed estate.

Chateau Branaire-Ducru, an esteemed winery located in the heart of the Saint-Julien appellation in Bordeaux, has recently unveiled its state-of-the-art vat house, marking a significant milestone in the estate’s illustrious history. This technological gem, combining tradition and innovation, has already proved its worth with the 2023 vintage, which we are currently offering on our website as a Wine Future.

Chateau Branaire-Ducru: The Excellence of Saint Julien

Founded in 1680, Chateau Branaire-Ducru boasts a rich history that spans over three centuries. The estate covers 60 hectares, with vineyards planted predominantly with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. This diverse blend of grape varieties contributes to the unique character and depth of their wines.

The terroir at Branaire-Ducru is characterized by its deep gravel soils, which provide excellent drainage and contribute to the development of grapes with concentrated flavors and refined tannins. The estate's meticulous viticultural practices and sustainable farming methods ensure that the vines produce the highest quality fruit, reflecting the essence of their exceptional terroir. Known for producing exceptional wines that embody the elegance and complexity of Bordeaux, Chateau Branaire-Ducru’s latest innovation demonstrates their commitment to combining tradition with modernity. A new era commences for the Branaire-Ducru winery.

The New Vat House: Innovation Meets Tradition

This new facility, inaugurated in April 2024, features 75 stainless steel tanks, 65 of which are suspended, making it the only suspended vat house in the Medoc. The centerpiece of this innovation is the new stainless steel truncated-cone vats. These vats ensure optimal fermentation thanks to even contact between the must and the skins, resulting in more structured wines with richer aromas and more intense color.

Another significant advance is the ultra-precise temperature control system. By maintaining constant temperatures throughout the vinification process, this system ensures even fermentation, preserving the finesse and balance of the aromas.

This new vat room is not just a technical feat; it marks a true transformation for Branaire-Ducru. By respecting tradition while integrating cutting-edge innovations, it allows the estate to magnify its unique terroir. The 2023 vintage, the first to benefit from these installations, shows superb potential and thus marks an exciting chapter in the rich history of this grand cru.

This new innovation allows for precise fermentation control, optimizing flavor and aroma extraction of the grapes stemming from the estate’s 70 plots. Additionally, the vat house incorporates sustainable practices, reducing energy consumption and minimizing the winery's carbon footprint. The new tourism space offers an immersive experience for visitors, providing insights into the meticulous winemaking process and the rich heritage of Chateau Branaire-Ducru.

Key Features of the Vat House

Gravity Flow System

One of the most notable features of the new vat house is its gravity flow system, which minimizes the need for pumping. This gentle handling of the grapes helps preserve their integrity and enhances the extraction of pure, vibrant flavors during fermentation.

Temperature Control

The vat house is equipped with advanced temperature control systems, allowing for precise regulation of fermentation temperatures. This ensures optimal conditions for yeast activity and enhances the development of complex aromas and flavors in the wine.

Customized Vats

The facility includes a variety of vat sizes, tailored to the specific needs of different vineyard plots. This enables the winemaking team to ferment each lot separately, preserving the unique characteristics of each parcel and allowing for greater precision during the blending process.

Sustainable Design

Reflecting Chateau Branaire-Ducru’s commitment to environmental stewardship, the vat house incorporates sustainable design elements, including energy-efficient equipment and eco-friendly building materials.

A Vision for the Future

The inauguration of the new vat house represents a significant investment in the future of Chateau Branaire-Ducru. It not only enhances the estate's ability to produce wines of exceptional quality but also underscores their dedication to innovation and sustainability.

In an interview carried out in our cellar before the Wine Futures campaign, François Xavier Maroteaux, the owner of the estate, stated ‘’I invite you all to come and visit our new tourism space”.

Chateau Branaire-Ducru’s new vat house in Bordeaux is a remarkable addition to an estate already renowned for its exceptional wines. By seamlessly blending tradition with innovation, the estate is well-positioned to continue its legacy of excellence for generations to come. Wine enthusiasts can look forward to experiencing the enhanced quality and distinctiveness of Branaire-Ducru’s wines, reflecting the estate’s unwavering commitment to perfection.

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