Producer: Sophie Martin
Annual Production (of all wines): 3,500 bottles
Website: No Website
Chateau Julia – The Smallest Chateau in Pauillac
Sophie Martin, owner and winemaker at Chateau Julia, was not necessarily destined for the vine. Her parents owned a farm during her childhood that cultivated grapes, along with corn, dairy cows, all of which were sold off to co-ops. However, Sophie’s family wanted her to further her education and gain a college degree. She chose literature, and finished her studies in 2002. Sadly, soon afterwards, her father passed away and Sophie reconsidered her life’s path. She rediscovered her love for her family’s way of life and the land they cultivated. She went back to school and completed a viticulture degree to hone her skills, and then set about becoming a winemaker. In 2008 she was able to purchase her first pieces of land, 0.5 hectares in Pauillac and 3.5 hectares in Haut-Médoc. Her first solo vintage in Bordeaux was in 2009.
Chateau Julia, which is made of 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, is by no means your traditional Pauillac, which tends to be a more Cabernet-led wine. As a matter of fact, she styles it more like a Saint-Emilion, taking advantage of the Merlot’s softness. She produces 3500 bottles of her wine using sustainable agriculture. The wine macerates for five weeks then sees 12 months in oak barriques, 30% of which are new. Alcohol comes in at 13.6% and the result is rich and smooth with plenty of velvet.
Now in possession of 0.6 ha in Pauillac and 4 ha in Haut-Médoc, Sophie is excited about the future. In a region that doesn’t see a whole lot of new faces, Sophie is making headway with her passion and spirit. She wants to continue to make new wines (her Haut-Médoc is forthcoming) and also to convert entirely to organic viticulture. The challenges, like going out on her own, finding good workers to hire, vine cultivation etc. serve only to stoke her ambition going forward. She is a trailblazer in Pauillac, helping to bring innovation and modernity to the region.