Château Cissac: Vineyards

As noted in my introduction the domaine is located to the west of the Médoc’s best vineyards, all of which jostle for position alongside the waters of the Gironde, the closer the better. Château Cissac and its vineyards lie inland, perhaps 6 kilometres distant from the muddy banks of the estuary as the crow flies. This may not sound very far, but it makes a big difference. Drainage here is more of a challenge, and the vineyards rely on a couple of small streams that run away to the east and to the south, emptying into the Jalle du Breuil which runs eastwards, directly between Château Lafite-Rothschild and Château Cos d’Estournel (and supplying the ornamental ponds which sit in front of the former). It is also about as far west as viticulture extends in this part of the world. Only a few hundred metres to the west there is woodland, and beyond that a mix of the tough scrubby vegetation that characterises the Médoc and some industrial-scale arable farming.

Château Cissac

In terms of size the vineyard is impressive; all the vines are located in the commune of Cissac-Médoc, surrounding Château Cissac and associated buildings. They thus have the Haut-Médoc appellation. They sit in a single block of 65 hectares, largely to the south and estate of the château. The superficial soils are mainly sandy gravel, situated over deeper layers of clay and limestone, the latter Calcaire à Archiacina, a late-Oligocene rock characterised by the presence of fossilised Archiacina, a mollusc known only through the fossil record.

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