The history of BROWN goes back almost one thousand years, with traces of vines here as early as the 12th century. Two centuries later, during the Hundred Years’ War between the Kingdoms of England (the Plantagenets) and France, Aquitaine and its vineyards were to remain in English hands for quite some time.
Château Brown owes its name to a rich Scottish wine trader, John Lewis Brown, who settled in Bordeaux shortly after the Revolution, in 1795. The former Château Barrière officially took the name Château Brown at the end of the 18th century.
In addition to his name, this wine and art enthusiast passed on his passion for the vine and for painting to his grandson, animal painter John Lewis Brown (1829-1890): his works from the 19th century – especially hunting scenes – can be found today in the Galerie Hermès, Musée Drouot and Tate London… Bordeaux thus saw the emergence of a precursor of Impressionism and it is even said that the Hermès brand drew inspiration from his paintings for the designs of some of its famous silk scarves…
J.L. Brown was also behind the construction of Château Cantenac-Brown (Margaux) and was known for his luxurious lifestyle and countless receptions organised in the Médoc.
To make a name in the Pessac-Léognan appellation and among the prestigious wines of Bordeaux more generally was the ambition of the Mau family when it bought the estate at the end of 2004, in association with Dutch businessman Cees Dirkzwager.
On the strength of his expertise as director of the family’s first estate acquired with the same co-shareholder, Château Preuillac in the Médoc, Jean-Christophe Mau, the 5th generation of a Bordeaux wine-trading family, was given the reins of Château BROWN. He was lucky enough to start his task with the exceptional 2005 vintage.
Following in the footsteps of the previous owner, Jean-Christophe Mau conducted a quality-focused strategy and succeeded in winning over wine critics and the national and international press, while working to control distribution of his wines on the Bordeaux marketplace – the traditional distribution circuit for Bordeaux Grands Crus. The challenge was an ambitious one: to give this 29-hectare estate a genuine identity by modernising it and investing in the vines, winemaking procedures, human resources and cutting-edge equipment.
Today, as Jean-Christophe Mau celebrates his tenth vintage in 2014, the quality of his work is lauded by all for its professionalism and consistency from one vintage to the next. The white wines of Château Brown feature among the best in Bordeaux while the reds are safe bets among the Bordeaux Grands Crus and widely recognized as flagships of the Pessac-Léognan appellation.
Jean-Christophe Mau produces wines in his own image: precise, generous and consistent. He puts everything into crafting haute-couture wines by being present at each stage in their production.