Château Doisy-Daëne: Vineyards

The vineyard of Château Doisy-Daëne largely sits to the south and east of the buildings and cellars, the majority of the vines sandwiched between Château Climens to the west, and Château Coutet to the north and east, two admirable neighbours indeed. The estate has increased in size under the tenure of the Dubourdieu family; having been 4 hectares when acquired by Georges in 1924 it had grown to 18 hectares by the end of the century. Today there are precisely 18.2 hectares under vine. The most significant additions over the years include 6 hectares purchased from Château Doisy-Dubroca in 1968, and 3 hectares purchased from a neighbouring first growth estate in 2003. In 2014 the Dubourdieu family purchased the remaining 3.08-hectare vineyard of Château Doisy-Dubroca from the Lurton family. The lad was fallow, and while about one-third of it was replanted to Semillon to facilitate the rebirth of that property, about 2 hectares were planted to Sauvignon Blanc, and I believe these vines feed into the dry and sweet wines of Château Doisy-Daëne.

Château Doisy-Daëne

The soil underfoot is unsurprisingly typical of Barsac, a mix of red sand and clay, and beneath this there lies a bedrock of solid limestone peppered with fossilised shellfish and starfish which is often credited with giving the wines of this appellation their trademark acidity. The vineyard is mature, it having been extensively replanted by Pierre Dubourdieu in the 1950s and 1960s, the vines averaging more than 40 years of age today. They are planted at a density of 7,140 pieds per hectare, with a good predominance of Semillon, this variety accounting for 78% of the vineyard (a figure that has slid down a little in recent years), with 22% Sauvignon Blanc (which has climbed). My records indicate there was also once Muscadelle here, at just 1% of the vineyard, but I suspect it has long been pulled up. The vines are cared for with minimal treatments, with no use of herbicides, although it is not fully organic. Regular ploughing between the vine rows is undertaken to disrupt the growth of the more superficial roots. The processes involved in caring for the vines, such as pruning, training and leaf-stripping are naturally carried out by hand, leading up to a manual harvest.

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