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Château La Tour Blanche: Vineyards

The estate in its entirety covers 72 hectares, but much of this is dedicated to the college and other facilities, leaving approximately 44 hectares dedicated to vineyard. The vines are situated on a hill which rises to a height of 67 metres; to the west there is a significant slope running down towards the Ciron, traditionally regarded as important in the generation of the morning mists which favour the development of botrytis. To the east lies the town of Bommes and Château d’Arche, while to the north  there sits the imposing Château Rayne-Vigneau. The soils are gravel over clay at the upper end of the vineyard, and as we might expect lower down the slope, closer to the river, they are richer in sand and loess.

Château La Tour Blanche

Off the 44 hectares, about 40 hectares of vines are white, these being 78% Semillon (down a little in recent years) with 16% Sauvignon Blanc (up a little) and 6% Muscadelle. Alongside, there are also areas dedicated to white varieties important for sweet wine production throughout the world, relevant to the studies undertaken at the college. The extra 4 hectares is planted to red vines. This was once a common finding in Sauternes vineyards, but increasingly rare today; nevertheless the vines are important here, as they are used by the students in the production of red and rosé wines. The Sauternes vines are planted at a density of 6,500 vines per hectare, and the average age of the vineyard is 24 years, a figure which has not changed in recent times.

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