In 1680 Branaire-Ducru was part of the massive Beychevelle estate. When the owner died in a world of debt the estate was broken up and sold in lots. Branaire-Ducru was one of them and traces its independence to this date. Since Patrick Maroteaux bought Branaire-Ducru in 1988, the wines have improved in quality year on year. Maroteaux was the first to use gravity to fill the tanks in the winery, assisted by Philippe Dhalluin who went on to work for Mouton Rothschild. These gradual small improvements have made a big difference in the glass. Now this 60ha, 4th Cru Classé is one of the better value quality wines to buy in Saint-Julien today.