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Our Chateaux

Image by Katie Harp


Overlooking the Gironde estuary, the Blaye vineyard has an amazingly rich and varied terroir. The undulating countryside inland contrasts with the almost marine aspect of the estuary shore. Half-river, half-sea, the Gironde has had a pervasive influence on the region’s history. Nowadays, most of our vines are grown on the slopes along the estuary, though there are also vineyards on the plain and on high plateaus. Being mostly planted on these hillsides, the vines enjoy ideal exposure, guaranteeing a healthy and fully ripe crop.

240 days of sunshine a year on average and the many geological movements of the past give each of the terroirs of the three districts that make up our appellation their own distinctive character.

The soil around Blaye itself is mainly clay-limestone, formed from successive layers of sediments laid down the ocean millions of years ago.

A rich terroir particularly well suited to Cabernet Franc and Malbec. It also brings out fruit characteristics of Merlot, the predominant variety of Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux.

The Greeks and then the Romans, settling in the region, were the first to discover its suitability for winegrowing and to start trading in wine.

Vines were planted around Blaye well before they reached the Médoc, even though it is so close.
The reputation of Blaye wines soon reached Rome. Vineyards sprang up along the estuary shore, their owners taking advantage of an expanding and thriving overseas trade.

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« Bordeaux’s little Switzerland »

This name reflects the appellation’s hilly topography, since the French word côtes means “slopes”.

On the Right Bank of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, 35 km North of Bordeaux (and 20 km via the river). The Côtes de Bourg vineyards stretch over 15 communes, all within the same administrative district.

What makes the Côtes de Bourg special compared to the overall Bordeaux climate: -approximately 10% more sunshine, – extremes of temperature that are less by 1-2°C

(a higher sum of temperatures equivalent to Sauternes, Pessac Léognan, Margaux, and Saint-Emilion), – 10 to 25% less rain depending on the year.The Gironde Estuary acts as a thermal buffer (protecting the vines from frost in 1991, for instance).

Limestone bedrock in the Côtes de Bourg can be as much as 20 metres thick. This is covered with a thick layer of clay that becomes thinner as one goes eastward. Red gravel from the Massif Central carried along by the river was deposited on rises during the Pliocene Epoch.

Historians date winegrowing in Bourg from around the 2nd century AD, when Romans planted the first Vitis biturica vines – the ancestors of today’s Cabernet. Bourg harbor was used to ship the local wine in the Middle Ages, and vineyards along the estuary grew to keep pace with increasing demand and trade along the river.

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