Situation

Situated in the eastern edge of the Bordeaux wine growing area, the Château de Parenchère vineyard lies on the borders of the Dordogne and the Lot et Garonne departments.
Here they grow in chalky clay with a very high clay content, which is unusual for this area and which goes some way to accounting for the strength of the wines produced from them.


Size

The total size of the estate is 153 hectares of land.
The vineyard is concentrated on
63 hectares (161 acres), planted on the estate’s best exposed plots and solely on hillsides so that rainwater drains away naturally. This way, fruit quality is not harmed by stagnating water, which would cause the grapes to swell.
Also, thanks to this ideal exposure, the grapes get a lot of sun from the early morning until late in the evening, which help them to reach their best maturity level even in very difficult years. The grapes will therefore be able to plainly express all their aromas and richness.

The Grape Varieties

The choice of grape variety is not dictated by fashion, but rather by what gives the best results on each terroir.
Of course, a terroir alone produces nothing. It requires the right combination and type of grape varieties that can bring out the whole wealth of potential within it.

The grape varieties of the 59 hectares of red depend on the different plots of the vineyard and how they are exposed. They are as follows:

• 50% Merlot
• 40% Cabernet Sauvignon (on the most exposed plots)
• 9% Cabernet Franc
• 1% Malbec

Similarly the 4 hectares of white to be found at Parenchère today (see News dated 15 March 2005) are made up of the three major white varieties:
• 70% Sauvignon
• 20% Semillon
• 10% Muscadelle

The blend of these different varieties, by virtue of their matching aromas and structures, produces the characteristic complexity and balance of Parenchère wines.

NB : We now favour high planting densities at Parenchère to give average yields of 5000 litres per hectare with minimum loads of 7 or 8 bunches per vine for Merlot and 10 to 12 bunches on Cabernet Sauvignon vines.
This helps us to obtain more density and volume in our wines, and keep on improving our quality. However, this replanting is done very gradually so as to preserve the highest proportion possible of older vines (25 years old on average, with some vines that are more than 40 years old). These proportions vary progressively as the vines are replanted annually at a density of 5,700 vines per hectare (2,300 per acre).