Château de Rayne-Vigneau: Vineyards

Château de Rayne-Vigneau sits atop a gravel ridge, perhaps after Château d’Yquem one of the most imposing within the entire appellation. Around the château there is a small area of parkland; today this park has a very ‘natural’ feel to it, featuring rough grass, ivy-covered trees and at the foot, next to the road which separates the estate from the vineyards of Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, a water-logged drainage ditch. Although Mother Nature seems to have taken charge here, this parkland was once much more formal, featuring several tree-lined avenues running up to the grand château. The presence of an ornate cast-iron gate, black with gilt detailing and flanked by two square stone pillars, standing isolated in the middle of a field just down the road from Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, is one clue to the past grandeur of the Rayne-Vigneau estate.

Château de Rayne-Vigneau

The vineyards run down the slopes away from the château, principally to the south and west, the latter towards the Ciron which is just a kilometre or so away in this direction. Directly to the north, as well as the vineyards of Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey are those of Château Sigalas-Rabaud and Château Rabaud-Promis. The soils are a mixture of sand and clay, curiously mixed with a cornucopia of precious and semi-precious stones including onyx, sapphire, amethyst and opal, all of which were of great interest to the amateur geologist Vicomte François de Roton when he owned the estate during the early 20th century. Beneath these superficial soils there is limestone.

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