the estate

the Vineyard
the Winery
the Harvest

Although only just over 4 hectares, the vineyard area is split into 7 different vineyard parcels, each being unique in some way and helping to add something different to our wine. Puit de Parre and Le Pey – 1 Hectare of Merlot
These two parcels are actually next to each other but very different. Puit de Parre sits on the very crest of the ridge that overlooks the Dordogne valley to the south and our own little valley to the west. Here the soil is very poor and thin and the vines have very low vigour. On the other vineyards we trim the canopy around 4 times each year, but up here we do it only once! Consequently the fruit up here gets ripe very quickly as the vine comes out of its vegetative cycle very quickly. It is always the first to be picked and gives the power and fruit intensity to the blend. Behind we have Le Pey which slopes slightly down to the north and is again very low in vigour. These vines are about 10 years older than Puit de Parre and consequently have an even lower crop level, with extremely small berries. The tannins and colour here are slightly denser, and add both fruit and structure.

Maugras and Pre Jay – 1 Hectare Blend of Merlot
and Cabernet Franc
These two vineyards are my favourite, but also the hardest to work. They comprise of two half-hectare plots separated by a small wood that face directly east. Maugras is well protected by woods and receives the very first rays of morning sunshine. The vines are extremely old but have been well looked after and produce a beautiful healthy crop ever year. A slightly thicker soil than on top the fruit develops it’s phenloics and flavours well and is not exposed to the very extreme heat after midday. This keeps the fruit very fresh in hot years and produces the most balanced of flavours. The vineyard contains a section of Cabernet Franc which I am told is an old but brilliant clone and should be used to replace dead vines or new plantings. Pré Jay is similar in its position but lies on a much steeper slope and is a nightmare on the tractor. Here we get probably the lowest crop of all the vineyards, but the one that gives the finest of tannins and colour. Half is again comprised of old Cabernet Franc that gives the most intense aromatics.

Perrere – 1 Hectare Merlot Cabernet Franc
This is the steepest of all the vineyards and also the most bizarre. Again directly facing east, in this vineyard the bottom half of the row is Cabernet Franc and the top half Merlot. Quite why they planted it like this is beyond me being a nightmare when picking. I think the old farmer picked it all at once with his machine, but as Cabernet Franc is about a week behind in ripeness we do it in two hand picks. Again this vineyard has the ultimate exposure to the morning sun, which gets photosynthesis started early but again not getting directly exposed to the hot afternoon heat that can shut the vines down. This allows slow even ripening that gives balance and purity of fruit without becoming over ripe.

Le Grand Pré and Pré Perse – 1.2 Hectares Merlot
The lowest lying of our vineyards, these flatter parcels give the density of colour and structure to the blend. Although not giving the same intensity of fruit as the other vineyards, here we have the backbone of colour and tannin that we need. A good way of explaining it is to say that these vineyards represent the canvas from which the other vineyards can paint the picture without worrying about it all falling apart.