One of the oldest cooperative Winegrowers in the Médoc

It was in 1933 that the first cooperative Winegrowers of the Médoc was founded in Pauillac.
As early as 1934, in Saint-Yzans de Médoc, in the midst of an economic recession, many wine growers were betting on the future. They pooled their resources and invested in a production tool that was efficient for the time.

Since then, generations of winegrowers have succeeded one another and have allowed the Saint-Brice cellar to evolve, faithful to tradition, by constantly seeking to improve the quality of its AOC wines.
After the rows of original cement vats, from 1985 the Cellar acquired barrels which allow the “Grand Saint-Brice” to be aged.
The aging cellar built in 1991 accommodates more than 500 barrels.
Since 1999, “La Colonne” has symbolized the desire for improvement and selection. This cuvée is made with the same attention as a classified cru and aged in 100% new barrels.

Today, on the strength of the experience of its winegrowers and the know-how of its team in the cellar, the Cave Saint-Brice produces Médoc wines that are faithful to their terroir.


Vineyards and terroirs :

The vineyard of the Cave Saint-Brice covers almost 110 hectares, mainly in the municipalities of Saint-Yzans de Médoc, Saint-Christoly, Couquèques, Blaignan and Ordonnac. It belongs to around sixty cooperative winegrowers.

Located near the estuary, it benefits completely from the Médoc microclimate: seasonal fluctuations are reduced by the regulating thermal effect of the 2 large bodies of water formed by the ocean and the estuary. Rainfall is also lower than in the south of the peninsula.
The oceanic climate and its random Atlantic depressions generate marked vintage effects. Each year gives birth to an original wine, the fruit of the alchemy of particular climatology and terroirs.

The soils are mainly clay and limestone, of tertiary origin. Fossils of marine shells characterize the outcrop of the Couquêques syncline. In Saint-Christoly, the vines that see the “River” benefit from the gravel deposited in the Quaternary era.

The variety of terroirs of the Cave Saint-Brice and the in-depth knowledge of each winegrower makes it possible to constantly seek to optimize their qualities.
The grape variety is fairly classic for the Médoc appellation with around 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. This higher proportion of Merlot than in Haut-Médoc is explained by the nature of its terroir, which is more conducive to the maturation of Merlot than that of Cabernet Sauvignon.

In Saint-Yzans de Médoc, Merlot often produces powerful, structured and slightly spicy wines, while Cabernet Sauvignon produces tight wines with great freshness.

To make great wines, you need great grapes and this cannot be improvised because it is the work of a whole year. This is why the efforts of our cooperators are rewarded with remuneration that takes into account this long work. Wine technicians follow the vines throughout the year to encourage the work of each cooperative winegrower.

Vinification and aging : « Médoc » Identity

We should not hesitate to question the tradition, but we should not hesitate to return to it when we have not found something better.
The vinification is therefore very classic at the Cave Saint-Brice. It all starts at the reception where 100% of the grapes are destemmed and then vatted. Fermentations and extraction work can then begin.

During this period and especially at the start of fermentation, we try to extract the most and the best possible by pumping over and shedding. At this stage, it is important to regulate the temperature so that it never exceeds 30 °. When the alcoholic fermentation is finished, the tanks continue to macerate, but this time, we heat to maintain the temperature at 30 ° C. During this phase the tannins are coated, the wine is “fat”. The duration of the maceration varies depending on the vintage, but it is always quite long.

Then comes the run-off time, the “free-run juice” is separated from the marc, then patiently waits for the malolactic fermentation to take place. When this last fermentation is finished, the wines are racked to clear them. They are then ready to be assembled.
Blending is the moment when we will shape each cuvée so as to obtain a complete range: 3 brands and 2 châteaux. Château wines come exclusively from the vats of producers large enough to fill a particular vat without waiting; a selection of the contributions is applied simultaneously.

The assembled wines are aged for 18 months during which they will stabilize naturally. The wines deposit in vats or barrels and keep changing during tasting. It’s kind of their teenage years.
Before bottling, to perfect the clarification, the wines are fined at a low dose and filtered loosely in order to preserve all the organoleptic qualities.

After bottling, it is necessary to rest for a few months, as bottling is a shock to the wine.
It is therefore after this long journey that you have the pleasure of discovering a new vintage every September, almost 2 years after the harvest.

Spirit, Values :

Cooperation provides the means to face the market. But a cooperative is not just a business that wants to be successful. It plays a social role between the cooperative members and carries values of mutual aid.

La Cave Saint-Brice is a business on a “human scale”. It wishes to remain so in order to preserve its typicity and its quality.