Château Brown | The team
Jean-Christophe Mau, a man and his vines
The youngest of the fifth generation of the Mau family, Jean-Christophe Mau initially refused the ready-made career in wine trading that was open to him, orienting instead towards the world of finance and obtaining a diploma in chartered accountancy. But he very soon realised that his life was elsewhere: it was to be winegrowing or nothing. “I can’t see myself adding up figures my whole life”, he declared. Answering the call of the vine, he returned to the family trading house and undertook an initiation into the art of winemaking with his uncle at Château Ducla, in southern Gironde. An ideas man and a bold creator as well as a demanding winegrower, Jean-Pierre Mau brought a new approach to viticulture at the château, consolidated by training at the Bordeaux Oenology Faculty of which Jean-Christophe was a graduate in 1998.
A vocation at the service of wine.
In 1999, when he took over at Château Preuillac, an estate in the north of the Médoc bought the previous year by his father Jean-François, he decided to take up an ambitious challenge: to make this estate one of the jewels in its appellation.
In 2005, at the age of 33, he launched into a new adventure on one of the most famous terroirs in the Bordeaux region: Château Brown, in Pessac-Léognan.
Jean-Christophe Mau’s challenge here is even greater than before: to give a genuine identity to this beautiful estate while upholding the approach of his predecessor.
Today, Jean-Christophe sees Château Brown as the centrepiece in his career as a winegrower and describes the link that bonds him to the estate as “a daily meeting with a magical place”.
Château Brown and its people: the perfect balance of skills
Alongside Jean-Christophe Mau, Stéphane Derenoncourt supervises the vinification of the red wines. Recognised as one of the most brilliant winemakers of his generation, he has placed at the service of Brown "his very different approach to viticulture" and his "simplicity", in the words of Jean-Christophe. The partnership between these two strong-minded, demanding personalities brought the very best out of Château Brown as early as the 2005 vintage.
Since the arrival of Mr Barthe at Château Brown, Bruno Patrouilleau has instigated a fantastic revival: uprooting, draining, replanting, top-grafting, pruning… There is nothing on the estate he has not worked on. This man of experience has brought the Graves Grand Cru back to life in the space of a few years.
An emblematic oenologist in the Graves appellation, this 52-year-old has vinified the white wines with total mastery, making them an incontestable reference in the Pessac Leognan wine area. It was no surprise that Jean Christophe Mau placed all his confidence in this experienced man.
This lively woman arrived with Stéphane Derenoncourt, and in her unprejudiced way has established herself firmly in the Château Brown winery, skilfully running operations like an orchestra conductor. The 2005 vintage – her first on the estate – bears testimony to her expertise.
This highly professional chief accountant has played her part in every stage of the adventure; she was taken on by Mr Barthe in 1994. Giving her support to Bruno Patrouilleau during the 10 years of reconstruction, Odile Lepetit has brought all her qualities to bear on the estate.