Located on the right bank of the estuary of the Gironde, our soil is mainly clay and limestone. Most of the estate is composed of such a soil, which consists in a forty to sixty-centimetre layer of earth – a good part of which is clay – on top of a more or less crumbly limestone layer. This type of soil suits Merlot grapes that give a very fruity wine, which has a strong body and mellow tannins. Nevertheless, as climate changes towards higher temperatures in summer and autumn, the growing of Cabernet-Sauvignon grapes (which have a late maturation) produces good results. Our aim is to replant this grape variety on that type of soil in order to produce about 20% of Cabernet-Sauvignon in our estate.
Our soil is also composed of clay sands that usually are colder and damper soils. When supported by a rootstock adapted to this soil and with good drainage, Merlot grapes produce very soft wines with a good structure, especially in years of drought as we have seen since 2003. We have decided to plant Sauvignon blanc where there is a good proportion of sand, in order to produce a wine that has many delicate aromas.
Finally, the third type of soil we have on the estate is thicker and composed of yellow or blue clay, depending on the plots. Such a soil is very good for Merlot grapes. The wine is then slightly less fruity and the tannin structure is denser. However, when blended with wine from the first kind of soil (clay and limestone), it gives nice cuvees that are more complex. We are thinking of trying Malbec or Cot grapes on this type of soil in the future, for former winegrowers had planted some there and they had observed that this soil was well-suited to Malbec.