Château Grand Corbin-Despagne: Vineyards

As I have indicated in my introduction, Château Grand Corbin-Despagne lies in the northwestern corner of the St Emilion vineyard, with the Barbanne just to the north marking the limit of the appellation, while just to the northwest is the hamlet of Maillet in Pomerol. To the southwest are the desirable gravel croupes which play host to Château Cheval Blanc and Château Figeac. Scattered all around the property are the other Corbin domaines, including Château Corbin (on the opposite side of the road), Château Grand Corbin Manuel, Château Grand Corbin (to the east, on the road up to Château Rol Valentin) and Château Corbin-Michotte (to the west, on the road up to Château L’Évangile).

Château Grand Corbin-Despagne

The soil underfoot is sandy, and a detailed soil study carried out at Château Grand Corbin-Despagne has revealed two major soil types. The first is a sandy clay (pictured below) rich in crasse de fer, the iron-rich mineral which also characterised some sandier sections of the Pomerol appellation, and which is often said to play a role in the character of its wines (although to what extent, I think, is most certainly up for debate). The second soil type is a more ancient and superficial sand, deposited over a deeper clay. The study involved digging 150 test pits to assess the soils, and together with a study of the water table the vineyard has been subdivided into 53 distinct parcels, each managed separately.

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