With its exceptional pedigree, Mouton Cadet has been Bordeaux’s leading wine brand since 1930. But never content to rest on its laurels, Mouton Cadet continues to surprise wine lovers with its quality and innovative approach to winemaking.
The History, the Legacy
When Baron Philippe de Rothschild took over his family’s already-famous Pauillac estate, Château Mouton Rothschild, in 1922, he implemented several important initiatives that vaulted its reputation into the upper echelon. He bottled the wine at the château, rather than deliver it to negociants in barrel, and commissioned unique labels for every vintage.
Always thinking of new opportunities, Baron Philippe wanted to create a wine that could be shared with the general public, but one that could also proudly tie into the legacy of the Pauillac estate. So in 1930, he took his knowledge of fine winemaking and created Mouton Cadet — Mouton a reference to the family estate and Cadet, which means younger son in French, as a nod to his status in the family.
The wine immediately conquered the Paris bistros in the 1930s and by the late 1950s, Mouton Cadet had also taken dinner tables in the U.S. by storm. This global sensation, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, struck the perfect balance of power and freshness, and the style remains a signature of the wine today.
Bringing Out the Best of Bordeaux
Parcel selection plays a large part in the creation of Mouton Cadet wines. Mouton Cadet’s cadre of winemakers works closely with multiple winegrowers throughout Bordeaux’s various appellations for Mouton Cadet’s grapes. The Mouton Cadet team advises on viticultural techniques, parcel by parcel, to ensure only the highest quality fruit is cultivated, and lend their expertise during the vinification process in the winegrowers’ cellars. They also partner with the winegrowers to determine key moments, such as harvest dates, to ensure only the best grapes go into that year’s vintage. It’s a highly specific approach, but it is central to crafting Mouton Cadet’s pure fruit expression.
The Mouton Cadet Classic range blends fruit from throughout the Bordeaux region—almost half in the Côtes de Bordeaux appellation—to create its signature fresh, fruit-forward, and easy-drinking style.
The Reserve range takes wine lovers on a tour of Bordeaux through appellation-specific bottlings, from Mouton Cadet’s origins in Pauillac to Graves, Saint-Emilion, and beyond.
A Commitment to Sustainability
It’s important to maintain this playground of terroir-expressive fruit, and Mouton Cadet is committed to sustainable viticulture. As of 2020, all vineyards of partner winegrowers hold a High Environmental Value certification, and as of 2019, growers have been phasing our chemical weedkillers and pesticides completely. With an eye toward the future, Mouton Cadet is funding research into chemical alternatives with the goal of completely eliminating them.
At the winery itself, renewable energy powers much of the facility, and in 2020 solar panels were installed on the property. Wastewater is treated at a nearby plant so it can be repurposed. Mouton Cadet is actively seeking ways to cut energy consumption by 20 percent by 2025.
The third tenet of sustainability—the people—is a key focus for Mouton Cadet. Without the long-standing winegrower partnerships, Mouton Cadet’s winemakers would not be able to achieve the level of quality they demand. The contracts with the winegrowers are based on fair-trade principles and developing sustainable practices, both environmentally and economically.
Working with organic winegrowers, Mouton Cadet recently launched two organic wines, a red and a rosé, which will be available in the U.S. in the coming months. These wines showcase the evolution of this legacy brand, while staying true to Mouton Cadet’s approachable and delicious style.
To learn more about Mouton Cadet’s range of iconic and best-selling Bordeaux wines, click here.
Last Updated: May 9, 2023