At the heart of the distinguished Margaux appellation, Château Brane-Cantenac stands proudly. Renowned for producing wines of remarkable elegance and finesse, this 75-hectare estate is an emblem of quality and excellence in the world of fine wine.
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Vineyards are stamped with the will of men. Begun 250 years ago, Brane-Cantenac’s legend is the tale of a thriving relationship between man and earth, which grows stronger as the ages go by. Named ‘Hostein’ in the 18th Century, this great wine estate was bought by the Gorce family, and produced one of the Medoc’s most renowned wines long before the 1855 classification.
As for our 2nd wine, Baron de Brane, its name pays hommage to the famous Baron Jacques-Maxime de Brane, the ’Napoléon des Vignes’, owner of the property in the 19th Century. For the past four generations the Lurton family has been at the helm, devoted wardens who continue to ensure that the property flourishes, producing wines of the greatest quality.
Since 1992, Henri has continued the journey that his father and ancestors began. Although a proponent of innovation and new technology, Henri is careful never to lose sight of the traditional values that remain an inherent part of Brane’s identity. Above all, he is proud of the unique terroir, and recognises the need to treat the soil, vines and grapes with immense respect as he carefully steers Brane’s future course.
Each plot and sub-plot has distinct characteristics, making them best suited for particular grape varieties. At Brane, we grow Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (40%), Cabernet Franc (4.5%) and Carmenère (0.5%). The vineyards are continuously micro-managed with a single goal in mind: producing the highest quality grapes and maintaining low yields. Replanting efforts in recent years, and a movement towards organic growing, demonstrate our strong commitment to sustainable viticulture.
Obtaining the finest possible fruit requires a unique exchange between man and nature, based on a deep understanding of the land itself, developed through centuries of experience. Famous for its deep, gravelly and mineral-rich soils, Brane possesses some of Margaux’s very finest plots. The chateau is positioned on an illustrious plateau, its topography provides superb natural drainage, with stony soils forcing the roots of the vines to delve deep into the earth for sustenance.
From mid-September, one of the most exciting and work-intensive periods begins. Usually peaceful and tranquil, the chateau becomes a flurry of activity as everyone prepares to gather the fruit that has been painstakingly nurtured throughout the year. Thorough scientific analysis and tasting of the grapes must take place before the order is given to harvest. Picking may only occur once each plot reaches a point of perfect maturity.
A rigorous sorting process is carried out on a variety-by-variety and plot-by-plot basis, while state-of-the-art optical scanning equipment allows for unprecedented precision and quality control. Next, the grapes are crushed, followed by fermentation, maceration and pressing, before the wine is transferred into barrels. Every stage requires patience, accuracy and impeccable hygiene.
The wine must rest and mature in the cool, dark cellar in preparation for its life in bottle. Micro-oxygenation occurs as the wine gradually absorbs oxygen through the barrel staves. Throughout this initial ageing process, it is the job of oenologists to taste regularly, judging the pace of the wine’s evolution. At Brane, the type of barrels used (up to 70% new oak) and the length of ageing (18 months, on average) are determined according to the characteristics of the vintage and blend.
Complacency has no place at Brane. Tradition must be matched with forward thinking and a constant hunger for improvement. Recent investments in an entirely new winery and significant upgrades to machinery mark a concerted effort to improve quality while simultaneously reducing our ecological footprint. Continuous experimentation in the vat room and cellar ensures that we are at the cutting edge of modern winemaking.
Since Henri Lurton took over in 1992, he has made it his mission to produce the best possible wine, reinforcing Brane’s position as a second classified growth in 1855. The result is a fine wine that perfectly expresses its remarkable terroir.
The name of our second wine honours Baron Jacques-Maxime de Brane, who owned the estate in the 19th century. Blended from vats carefully selected for their suppleness, it is aged just like the First Wine, but for a 12-month period.
Henri Lurton selects the youngest plots from our vineyard for Margaux de Brane. A silky, fruit-driven wine with impressive roundness and red fruit flavours, the wine is accessible in style. It offers an introduction to the wonders of the Margaux appellation and in particular to the signature style of Brane.
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