The variety of wines in Saint Emilion is the result of the remarkable geology and microclimate of the region, perfectly suited to viticulture
The variety of wines in Saint Emilion is the result of the remarkable geology and microclimate of the region, perfectly suited to viticulture. It is the alliance between soil and climate in this region which gives the grapes, and so the wine, its unique, exceptional and instantly recognisable character.
Saint-Emilion and Saint-Emilion Grand cru
Four major soil types characterise the region of Saint-Emilion and Saint-Emilion Grand Cru; around the medieval walls lies a limestone plateau, with a large bed of silt-clay gravel which extends out towards Libourne, clay-limestone hills and valleys and a sandy-gravelly plain stretching towards the Dordogne valley.
The vines of the Lussac Saint-Emilion are planted over valleys and high plateaux.
The central area of Lussac Saint-Emilion is a limestone plateau covered by a thin layer of Perigord sand. The hills to the south are mostly clay and limestone, but more silty-clay towards the north.
The vineyards of Puisseguin Saint Emilion are planted on clay-limestone soils, with scattered patches of ancient alluvial gravel. The whole area is of even composition, spread over a limestone substrate which allows for good water supply to the vines, even during dry periods.
An ideal microclimate for Saint-Emilion wines...
The Saint-Emilion region benefits from the temperate oceanic climate typical of the Bordeaux region. The overall climate is particularly good for winegrowing, as it is marked by moderate temperature differences between summer and winter, with an annual average temperature of 12.8 ° C, with rainfall well distributed throughout the year. Hot summers, warm autumns, and protection from the Dordogne and Isle against the risk of frost, are all conducive to perfect ripening of the fruit.
However, this microclimate remains subject to climatic variations. From one year to another the differences in temperature and rainfall can be significant. The variation between wines of different vintages – a key feature of Bordeaux wines – is the result of this variability. Wine is often the best indicator of a given year’s climatic conditions.