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Château Grand-Puy Ducasse

Château Grand-Puy Ducasse

In the middle of the 17th century, Arnaud Ducasse bought a small house, on the banks of the Gironde estuary, from Jacques de Ségur, Seigneur of Lafite. He could hardly have imagined that it would be the start of a superb estate that would remain in his family for almost three centuries.

The real founder of the estate was Pierre Ducasse, a lawyer by profession but who was passionate about vine-growing. He bought land within three parishes: Pauillac, Saint-Lambert and Saint-Sauveur; as well as the domains of three lords: Lafite, Latour and Beychevelle.

Additional purchases and swaps enabled him to extend his estates up to his death in 1797. His son inherited the 60-hectare estate, then called Ducasse-Grand-Puy-Artigues-Arnaud, of which two-thirds were planted with vines. Around 1820, he had the existing château built on the site of his ancestors' house, facing the Gironde estuary. It was under his son-in-law’s management, Adrien Chauvet, that the estate was classified in 1855, under the name of Artigues Arnaud. The company called Grand-Puy Ducasse was then founded in 1932.

In 1971 a new group of shareholders took on the somewhat dormant estate, and went on to restructure and enlarge the vineyard’s holding. As from 1980, the winery was equipped with a new vatting house, including sorting tables and other facilities for handling the harvest. In 1991, the sorting tables were moved into the vineyards, in order to improve the quality of hand-picking. In 2004, CA Grands Crus, a subsidiary of the Groupe Crédit Agricole, acquired Château Grand-Puy Ducasse and an improvement plan was put together for the entire estate. Today the estate is supervised by Anne Le Naour, the Technical Director, and by the consultant oenologist, Hubert de Bouärd.

The vineyards cover some 40 hectares and they are divided between three main plots which lie on sandy Garonne gravel within the Pauillac appellation. The vineyards border those of Mouton, Lafite and Pontet-Canet to the North; in the centre they cover part of the Bourdieu of Grand Puy, and, at their southern extremity, they extend onto the Saint-Lambert plateau. With an average age of 25 years, 62% of the vines are Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot. Average yields are 40 hectolitres per hectare.

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