The soil of Château L’Etampe consists of light-coloured sandy siliceous Plio-Quaternary alluvium (quartz). These are precocious soils that warm up quickly and thoroughly, because the light is reflected from it. The vineyard thus benefits from an additional heat input from the soil. These ancient sands play a primordial role in the vines’ mineral balance and water regime. The tree-bordered Tailhas stream running alongside the vineyard cools down the surface at the heart of the estate during summer nights, thus helping the grapes to mature. All the soils are well-drained, so as to preserve the vines and ensure the optimum, evenly-balanced distribution of water.
The vines benefit from a temperate microclimate, influenced by both the ocean and the Dordogne and Bardanne rivers. This is because rain- and hail-bearing clouds tend to break up as they follow the river valleys, rather than empty their contents on the fine terroir of the Figeac Plateau.
Château Fleur de Lisse
Saint-Emilion (a town redolent with history perched on a rocky outcrop) and its vineyards take their originality from the limestone that creates an exceptional soil for the vines. In 1999 the vineyards and the eight villages in the Saint-Emilion jurisdiction became a UNESCO World Heritage site as an outstanding cultural landscape.
The land of Château Fleur de Lisse, lying in Saint-Etienne-de-Lisse in one of the eight Saint-Emilion municipalities, lies at the foot of the slopes. Carried out by Dominique Massenot, an independent expert in wine producing and biodynamic soils, an analysis and audit of the soils have shown that the terroir lies on silt-limestone colluvial deposits with Oligocene formations. The plants thus take root on extremely deep and fertile soils. The vines of Château Fleur de Lisse, aged 40 to 50 years on average, are cultivated with considerable care. Nicolas Géré has chosen a policy of re-plantation based on a selection of the best fines, working closely with the specialist nurserywoman Lilian Bérillon.
Not forgetting our “organic farm”, our beehives and our hens …
The Fleur de Lisse vines are cultivated like a garden, according to the precepts of biodynamic agriculture. Throughout the year, Nicolas Géré and his team use highly effective growing techniques guaranteed to protect the ecosystem and development of its vegetative and lunar cycle. At Château Fleur de Lisse, oats, rye and floral mixes are sewn to produce green fertiliser, while seven beehives and nesting boxes are meticulously set out to ensure the pollination of the vine flowers, and thus re-establish a food chain essential to biodiversity.
Églantine, Marguerite and Agathe, our elegant hens, have found a paradise on earth in our renovated farmhouse. In the middle of the vines, a joyous, rebellious group of some 40 members parade before our eyes, giving a real soul to the estate. Geese and sheep will be joining them soon!