The soil

A Singularly Unique Location

 

“I remember the wine maker, met upon this Médoc soil, who confided in me that only the greatest vineyards overlook the estuary… I recall the landscape of this unique and wild estuary and the shimmer of delight at the first glass of Loudenne… I remember these bold and characterful wines.”
Extract from the Loudenne Visitor Book

Loudenne is in an exceptional geographic position at the heart of the Médoc, 6 kilometers north of Saint-Estèphe and on the banks of the Gironde Estuary. The pink château dating from the 17th century is one of the rare wine estates to own a private harbour. Upon landing on this 132 hectare estate, a truly exceptional terroir, one cannot help but be bewitched by its magical beauty.

 

“A few steps in the alleys of the castle will, in fact, be enough for me to understand that here nothing is really like elsewhere and that everything is a little different. Perhaps, a little more precious and mysterious. Like those English roses that have bloomed in the garden for hundreds of years… and whose scent still perfumes my memories…”
Extract from the Loudenne Visitor Book

The soil

An Exceptional Terroir

 

Only the greatest vineyards overlook the estuary Médoc saying.

All the greatest Médoc crus are to be found on the banks of the estuary, this exceptional terroir benefits from its close proximity to the Gironde, its gravel-rich soil and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The Gironde, Europe’s largest estuary, influences the Loudenne climate, warmer springs ward off frost, warmer autumns allow grapes to ripen and, inversely, cooler summers diminish the negative impact of heat waves.

Gravel-rich soils that are poor in nutrients encourage the development of small highly concentrated berries essential in producing the greatest wines. The glacial font due to global warming at the end of the tertiary period released sediment rich flood waters from the Pyrenees and Massif Central mountains. Gravel, rocks and pebbles were deposited in layers known as “les graves” in French. The terroirs closest to the estuary, such as Loudenne, have the most “graves”. Loudenne’s red wine varietals are located on two hillocks very rich in “graves” mixed with clay deposited upon a ridge of chalk. The white wine vineyard is found between the foot of the slopes and the estuary in chalk and clay soils ideal for the aromatic expression of the Sauvignon grapes.

The dry breeze reaching Loudenne from the Atlantic Ocean helps dry the leaves and grapes preventing the development of mildew.

The soil

A red and white wine vineyard

The Loudenne estate represents 132 hectares of which 62 are planted with vines, the remainder being salt meadows dedicated to livestock and classified “Natura 2000”.

48 hectares are dedicated to red wines with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% newly planted Petit-Verdot. At Loudenne the “graves” on the hill tops are ideal for the Cabernet Sauvignon, the emblematic grape varietal of the Médoc, to fully express its aromas whereas the lower slopes comprised more of clay and chalk are better adapted to Merlot.

14 hectares are dedicated to the white vineyard with 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon. Loudenne was the first château in the Médoc peninsular to produce white wine and has continued to do so since 1880.

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