In the XVI th century, the wines of Larcis Ducasse were considerably appreciated and already very sought after. In 1777, they were cited as being purchased at a very high price by the Libourne wine merchant, Pierre Beylot.
In 1867, a first gold medal was awarded to Larcis Ducasse at the Paris World Exposition that rewarded the chateau for the quality of the wines produced on the exceptional nature of its terroir. At the time, the proprietor, Pierre Ducasse, produced 15 to 20 “tonneaus” (900-liter wooden barrels) of his cru “Larcis.”
In 1893, Henry Raba, descendent of an illustrious Bordeaux family of ship builders and wine merchants would purchase the Chateau Larcis Ducasse. His passion would incite him to invest a significant part of his fortune to maintain the vineyard in terrace form and to equip the chateau with a gravity managed cellar that was at the cutting edge of technology for that period. In 1898, the renowned Cocks and Féret guide outlined that Mr. Raba had recently constructed a large winemaking cellar with a wine press that would roll along rails on the second floor where the “harvest carriages” arrived.
After the passing away of Henri Raba in 1925, his wife, Emilie and then his son André would take up the torch. The latter died during the war. It was in 1941 that his niece, Hélène Gratiot-Alphandéry, would inherit the property. As a psychologist specializing in the issues of infancy and Director of the studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, she would take over the management of the property in the wake of the liberation of France, together with the Vineyard Manager, Pharaon Roche.
In 1990, the son of Hélène Gratiot-Alphandéry, Jacques-Olivier Gratiot, would succeed her. He who was the Director of Development and Creativity at l’Oréal, a poet and a writer, would bring a new breath of fresh air to the property, together with the help of the Vineyard Manager, Philippe Dubois.
In 2002, the family would confer the management of the chateau to Nicolas Thienpont. He was joined by the Oenologist, David Suire. Together they were accompanied by Julien Lavenu (Derenoncourt Consultants) where they would carry forth the efforts already realized until then to constantly improve the finesse of the wines of the domain.
Being fully aware of the exceptional potential of the vineyard, they would commission a very precise study of the terroirs of the domain, putting forth significant means for the renovation of the vineyard and cellars, and would associate traditional methods with innovative techniques so as to express the quintessence of the terroir.
In 2012, merely 10 years after the arrival of Nicolas Thienpont and the new team, Chateau Larcis Ducasse was promoted to 1er Grand Cru Classé status in the wine Classification of Saint Emilion, thus being recognized by its peers and awarded for the excellence of its wines and of its magnificent terroir.
Today, Château Larcis Ducasse remains the property of the descendants of the Raba family. Jeanne Attmane and her brother, Jacques-Olivier Gratiot, each one of them co-managers, and their children who are extremely attached to the place, continue to preserve and to maintain this marvelous heritage.
More than a mere wine property, Larcis Ducasse represents an anchoring point of the family, a home port, a critical union between the past and the future, a history that is passed down from generation to generation.