Terroir

Soils and geology of Cahors

Tertiary terraces and colluvial limestone: two complementary soil types

The three different parts of our vineyards are situated on the two best soil types of Cahors. The largest plot, 12,5 hectares, is oriented southwest and was formed on colluvial lime stone soils. We call this argilo-calcareous, very rocky ground that plays a huge role in thermoregulation and water supply “Tran”. The wines produced in those vineyards are particularly straight and long, showing very fine tannins.

The two other plots (5,5 hectares and 7,5 hectares) are oriented straight south. They are a mixture of pebble stones and ferruginous red sands at the surface and siliceous earth and clay below. The wines from these vineyards show power, density and texture.

Bedrock and surrounding woods

Both are of great influence on our wines. The calcareous bedrock covered by well-ventilated clay soils confers the minerality and aromas of violet and limestone, which distinguish the wines from this terroir. Aromas of juniper and eucalyptus, appearing towards the end of fermentation, originate in the surrounding woods.

The art of blending

Our vineyards give birth to grapes and wines with complementary flavours, developing our sense for blending in a natural way. This is the secret of our wine range, open to everyone, offering a large array of tastes and aromas, according to the origin of the grapes. We pursue our ideas by blending grapes that “go together” in the same vats for fermentation since 1996.

The climate of Cahors

The balance of a micro climate

The vineyards of Cahors lay within a triangle formed by the ocean, the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea. Our climate is influenced by the Atlantic until June, and clearly becomes Mediterranean in summer. Furthermore, the river Lot and the southerly wind have a positive influence on our vineyards: the wind chases the clouds, promising enough sunshine for the ripening of the grapes, while the waters of the Lot cool down the nights and relieve the vines. Our grapes ripen under “healthy” conditions, without suffering from drought.

Our grape varieties

Cot, Malbec or Auxerrois

Three names for a unique grape variety, that has found its home country in Cahors. Naturally producing low yields and feeling comfortable on poor soils, Malbec nevertheless needs a lot of attention. When growing on the great terroirs of Cahors, it gives floral and fruity characters to the wines, like aromas of violet and various fruits and berries, with a lot of density and length in the mouth. Very charming when tasted young, the ageing potential of Malbec wines is enormous.

All over the world people show growing interest for Malbec wines. Some people even say that Malbec with its roundish leaves and its loose grape clusters might become a leading variety…

Viognier

We wanted a white wine like you will find in Burgundy, in Bergerac or in California. Viognier show all characteristics and qualities required to adept well to our terroir and produce a natural wine: It supports the difference between high daytime temperatures and low nighttime temperatures in summer. Planted in 1988, we bottled our first white wine in 1992. Le Cèdre blanc is a particular wine, that develops length and finesse in the course of time.

Know-how in the vineyards

A great terroir fees a lot of respect

Certified for organic farming since 2012, all vineyards are ploughed, herbicides have been banned, pruning is short (single Guyot), leaving seven to eight buds and green harvest can be done to control the yield of every vine. Harvest period is short, starting at optimum ripeness of the grapes.

Jean Marc’s machines

This old grape harvester, redesigned by Jean-Marc and a friend blacksmith, is of precious help in the vineyards.

It covers the rootstocks in autumn and uncovers them in spring, it cuts the herbs growing around the vines and slices the vine roots close to the surface. Thanks to this machine, we do not use any herbicides anymore, reconnecting the vines with their terroir. Without its superficial roots, the plants grow deeper into the ground to search for nutrients, which enhances the influence of the soil on grape composition and taste. Growing in vital, ventilated ground, vines show more resistance to drought and climatic variations.

Harvesting pips

As all grape aromas are extracted to the wine during maceration; choosing the right date for harvest is mandatory for the quality. Ripe pips develop aromas of vanilla and hazelnut, even showing a slightly sweet taste. Tannins from grape skins do not show this sweetness, but can be very elegant. A well-cultivated soil gives freshness to the wine, which will get into balance with the tannins.

Balance and harmony are the cornerstones of nature. While transforming grapes into wine, we have to stay close to this principle and to the very essence of our vines.

Know how in the cellar

The wine already exists in the grapes

Malbec glares by the intensity of its aromas and the deepness of its colour. During wine making we are not looking for the greatest extraction. If necessary, we simply intervene to harmonise the tannin structure and to confer richness and creaminess to the wine. To combine structure and concentration with smoothness and fruit, we practice two different ways of vinification and ageing for our Viognier.

Every vintage is unique and nothing is standardised. We accompany our wines by adapting our work to the requirements of the vintage: The right moment and the frequency for actions like “pigeage”, stirring of lees and racking wines are always adjusted to the characteristics of the individual vintage.

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