Chateau Croizet-Bages: Vineyards

The Croizet-Bages estate lies on the very edge of the village of Bages, which lies just south of Pauillac. Approach Pauillac from the south, past Château Batailley on the right, and then Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, the chai is clearly visible on the right-hand side, on the far side of the vines. The vineyards thus lie at the heart of the Bages plateau, alongside notable neighbours such as Château Lynch-Bages. The soils here have the typical Médoc gravel but only in a seam one metre deep; the beneath this there is a bed of sand, the upper layer of which is an ochre sand rich in iron oxide and minerals, a feature of the Bages plateau, and beneath this the sands are white. There are 30 hectares in all, which are planted with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc. The vines have an average age of 35 years, are planted at a density of 8000 vines per hectare.

Château Croizet-Bages

Under the direction of Jean-Philippe and Anne-Françoise Quié there has been more attention to detail in the vineyard, and it may be that recent improvements in the quality of the finished wine can be traced back to these practices. In particular, much of the vineyard has been re-trellised (this has happened over much of Bordeaux in recent years, sometimes with associated inter-planting to increase the vine density) changing the height of growth of the vine, and thus increasing the foliage surface area to improve photosynthesis. Yields are controlled by appropriate winter pruning and debudding in spring, and the ripening of the fruit is supported by leaf thinning and green harvesting.

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