A winery entirely made from mud and wood in Margaux

Tuesday October 27 2020 by Vitisphere

 A compressed mud vault will support the wooden framework. “This will be the only load-bearing one in the world”, announces a delighted Tristan Le Lous. A compressed mud vault will support the wooden framework. “This will be the only load-bearing one in the world”, announces a delighted Tristan Le Lous. - Photo credit : Château Cantenac Brown

In the vat room designed in the 2000s by the AXA group, we cannot produce blends as precisely as we would like”, says the new owner of Margaux Troisième Grand Cru Classé, Cantenac Brown. “And the barrel cellar is too small to work in ideal conditions”.

Engineer Tristan Le Lous, who took over the Château at the end of 2019, didn’t lose any time in deciding to undertake major building work. “We will be applying for planning permission in 10 days’ time so that work can start within the next three months. The aim is to vinify the 2023 vintage in our new facilities”.

Tristan Le Lous recruited the help of architect Philippe Madec to design a completely eco-friendly winery, made from 100% mud and solid raw timber from Aquitaine. “This is a first in the world of wine, and even in the world of architecture. No buildings today are built without any cement and few companies have the expertise to do it”, claims Le Lous.

Although he admits that he is aiming for the “wow” factor when visitors enter the winery, he wants the new buildings to be completely subsumed into the current Château grounds. “We will not be destroying anything, there will be no pile of rubble. The winery and new cellar will be inserted into empty spaces”, he explains.

The cost of the project, including the buildings and winemaking equipment, is estimated at 20 million euros.

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