Château Cos d’Estournel: Vineyards

The vineyards of Château Cos d’Estournel are on the customary Quaternary gravel which peppers the left bank of the Gironde. There are 91 hectares (of which about 85 hectares are currently planted up) divided into three zones; the first is the plateau and east-facing slope, looking towards the Gironde. The second is the southwest-facing section, looking across the Médoc marshes and Jalle du Breuil towards Château Lafite-Rothschild. The third is the section west of the château. The vineyard is further subdivided into a multitude of parcels; a survey of soil resistivity carried out by an external specialist showed them where soil water and salt content varied, data which they then verified by digging test pits.

Château Cos d'Estournel

These new analyses have facilitated a new division of the vineyard into 19 different soil types, although some types are similar enough to be considered as one. Thus with this very mild simplification of the data the team at Château Cos d’Estournel categorised their vineyard into ten different soil ‘groups’. These ‘soil parcels’ are strewn across the three main vineyards zones, going way beyond these three basic divisions. The divisions are extraordinarily precise, sometimes carving up pre-existing parcels. The new parcel boundaries are marked by daubs of fluorescent orange paint on groups or rows of vines (pictured below), the paint delineating important changes in the type of soil.

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