From the vineyard…

Situation: 15 kilometers South of Bordeaux, the vineyard of Château de France extends over one of the highest terraces of Léognan, the highest of four terraces of gravelly soil produced over time.

Hectares/varieties: 40 hectares : 36 hectares of Cabernet sauvignon (55 %) ad Merlot (45 %) for red wine production, 4 hectares of Sauvignon (80 %) and Sémillon (20 %) for the white wine.

Terroir: The terroir of Château de France is privileged to be situated on an outcrop of Terroirdeep gravelly soil from the Pyrenees, sometimes on a chalky-clay subsoil. On this model of hillsides, the presence of fawn coloured sand of plastic clay and many hues, confirm that this is the best winegrowing sector within this terroir. The same sand is also located in the Haut-Sauternais area and in some sectors of the appellations of Medoc.

Porte-greffe: 3309 C / 101-14 / 110 R / Gravezac / 420 A / 161-49 / Riparia.

Plantation density: 6,950 rootstocks/hectare for the most recent plantations.

Viticulture: Double and simple Guyot pruning.
Leaf-thinning on the side that the sun rises.
Green harvesting
Environmental friendly growing techniques.

Yield: Like all Pessac-Léognan, Château de France has to respect strict appellation laws, defined by the decree of September 1987: a yield of 45 hectolitres/hectare for reds and 48 for the whites, variable depending upon the years.

Harvest: Handpicked.

… to the bottle

Red winemaking

Since the 2011 vintage: a vibrating destemmer carefully eliminates plant debris. This efficient machine respects the harvest and also the environment, thanks to its compact size and ease of use.
The harvest is sorted once again on a vibrating table.
7 to 10 days alcoholic fermentation then 3 to 4 weeks maceration in 134 and 85 hl vats. Extremely precise temperature control. Fermentation temperature: 28°-30°C.
Malolactic fermentation in vats.
Maturing in barrels in a partially underground cellar for 12 to 14 months – 30% in new oak, 70% in one wine barrels (Fine grained medium toasted barrels). The second wine is aged in barrels that have already been used twice before.
Light filtration before bottling.

White winemaking

Direct pressing, with a pneumatic closed press.
The cellar includes 3 buried 25 hl vats and 3 buried 35- hl vats for settling purposes.
7 to 10 days alcoholic fermentation in new barrels – 40% in new oak (Some barrels have acacia bottoms. These are aptly called, “fresh barrels”, as they conserve the wine’s freshness), 60% in one year barrels. Precise temperature control. Fermentation temperature: 18°-22°C.
Maturing in barrels: 8 to 9 months – stirring once a week and near the end every two weeks.
Filtration before bottling.

Château de France has joined the SME (Environmental Management System of Bordeaux wine) in September 2016 and obtained HVE certification in 2018

The challenge is to improve the viticultural methods in order to reduce their impact on environment: this concerns energy consumption, waste sorting and recycling, intrants, pest control, cultural methods, workers, local residents and consumers health protection, improvement of working conditions etc. Next step: certification ISO 14001.
With the collective support of Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux, reducing costs and optimizing the operation tools.
Arnaud Thomassin sees the confirmation of “the property and its employees engagement towards the environnement around us and further”.