The Eco-Chic Winery Worth Visiting In Bordeaux

Over 200 years ago, Scotsman John Lewis Brown had a vision for vineyards in the Margaux appellation of Médoc. He put such passion into the land that his winery Cantenac Brown was ranked among some of Bordeaux’s most prestigious vineyards during the 1855 classification. The Tudor-style estate with its regal red bricks is surrounded by stunning landscape captured in paintings by Brown’s grandson and his friends: Degas, Manet, Pissaro and Toulouse-Lautrec. 

“I will always remember the first morning I arrived at Cantenac Brown—I came via car in Margaux, and I saw a sea of ​​vines in front of me on this famous plateau. Then at the bottom, the Tudor castle emerged in the distance,” told Tristan Le Lous, a 40-year-old agronomist originally from Burgundy whose family purchased the estate in 2019. “It was a morning when there was the bride’s veil: that little mist that appears at dawn when it gets a little cold at night. The emotion I felt then was very strong,” he added.

Brown started the winery’s legacy, planting vineyards across the Margaux and Cantenac plateau so he could take advantage of the diversity of terroir from the gravelly and clay-limestone soils. He designed an arboretum in the garden surrounding the château that still features a collection of rare trees: 200-year-old sequoia, Atlas cedars, Evergreen oaks and Spanish fir. More recently, along with Scottish sheep used for eco-grazing, the château began beekeeping in 2008 and even produces its own honey, lovingly called L’Or de Cantenac Brown. It’s this back-to-nature mentality and respect for the land that is pushing forward the winery’s latest initiative: a carbon-neutral cellar. 

Tristan Le Lous and General Manager and Winemaker, José Sanfins have built over the years a strong relationship. Together, they are developing an eco-construction project that works with the power of the earth that will be the first-of-its-kind. “When engaging in a project of this nature, the quality of the manager is paramount,” told Tristan. “José has done a incredible work for 15 years, and Cantenac Brown wines have gained recognition among professionals. The objective today is to go further, both in terms of quality with this new tool, which will allow us to gain even more precision.”

The 54,000-square-foot cellar will be created from wood sourced from the surrounding Aquitaine region and a vault made of raw earth. Crafted from mud, the cellar will feature adobe walls more than 3 feet thick, which allows for thermal inertia and the ideal…

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