great terroir is a gift of Nature, crafted by the hand of Man.

Ecology

Reasoned culture principles adapted to each plot

Today, Château Carbonnieux benefits from the « sustainable agriculture » classification for all its vineyard practices..
This type of practice means that chemical insecticides, weed-killers and acaricides are banned and replaced by environmentally friendly methods that better respect biodiversity and allow the vine plant to stimulate its own natural defences.
Moreover, Château Carbonnieux is a member of the first ISO 14001 certified Bordeaux EMS (Environmental Management System) Association. The entire personnel of Château Carbonnieux are involved in the quality strategy.

• A weather station is set up in the vineyard to adapt treatments depending on the weather.
• A control plot for organic farming is used to monitor progress towards ‘cleaner’ practices in the rest of the vineyard.
• Permanent supervision of the vineyard in order to treat each plot according to its specific requirements.
• Return to ploughing and "traditional" work on the soil, to do away with weed-killers.
• Release of pheromones to create sexual confusion and do away with insecticides against vine moths.
• Seasonal manual debudding, leaf removal and green harvesting to strengthen the branches of each vine-stock and prevent any rot from beginning.
• Only natural, organic and mineral fertilizers to compensate for everything the plant consumes during its growth cycle…
• Plots of floral fallow plants for replanting to sustain small fauna on the estate , particularly bees. Selected fallow plants to be used as natural fertilizers after decomposition in the soil.
• From the offices to the vines . Recycling of all waste produced on the estate.
• . . .

Geology

Resulting from a rich geological past, the Garonne or Günzienne gravel outcrop of Château Carbonnieux has been home to vines for over seven centuries. For over seven centuries the vine has dug its roots and shaped the sub-soil of this domain.

A rich geological inheritance

At the end of the tertiary and beginning of the quarternary era , in the middle of the Pyrenean uplift, the Garonne river and its tributaries carried along the left bank from the south-east of Langon to Bordeaux large quantities of stony alluvium mixed with sand , silt and clay.
Over geological time these stones known as gravel (graves) were deposited on the river slopes forming several layers of terraces about 15 kilometers wide.
Two types of gravel covered the layers of sedimentary limestone:the Pyrenean sandy clay gravel at the end of the tertiary era and the Günz Garonne gravel of the quaternary era. The vine growing region south of Bordeaux gets its name from these.

A unique gravel outcrop
The specific morphology of the outcrop making up the Château Carbonnieux terroir can be explained by the runoff that removed the gravel layer deposited on four faces during the Quaternary era. A cap of massive gravel, that was relatively unaffected by erosion, today occupies the top of a strongly eroded gravel terrace.
The edge of the Carbonnieux gravel terrace consists of a belt of sandy gravel soils that moved due to the runoff.
Its slope, close to the main drainage axis, consists of a resurgence of the tertiary clay-limestone substratum, sometimes covered by migrant sands. The south-west of the estate is original in that a tongue of Landes sands blown in by the wind was deposited on the limestone base.
The outcrop and its appendages are drained thanks to many drainage pathways. This natural drainage of the soil ensures good water stress of the vineyard in the ripening phase.

Terroir

A high point right in the heart of the PESSAC LEOGNAN appellation

The Chateau Carbonnieux terroir is remarkable for its structure and the diversity of its soils.
This is a fact that has been confirmed following a study of the soils’ resistivity as well as localised soil tests. As a result a new precise geological map of the entire domain was drawn up. The variable constitution of the soils of Carbonnieux make it possible to create multiple plots of land, each equally rich and complex .
• clay and gravel
• gravel ( more or less deep, more or less massive)
• clay and limestone
• sand and gravel
• argillaceous vein
• limestone vein
At Carbonnieux, each plot has a name which gives it a unique identity and guarantees it special attention and personalised care adapted to suit its particular pedological, agrological and ampelographic characteristics.

A red and white cru classé terroir

Such a geological base is a guarantee of aromatic richness and scope for wines produced by this growth within the Pessac-Léognan appellation
In 1959, when the Grands Crus of the Graves were officially classified, Château Carbonnieux was classified along with 16 Graves Crus all within the current Pessac-Léognan appellation.
Thanks to the exceptional potential of its terroir, Château Carbonnieux was classified both for red and white wines (which is the case for only 6 crus classés among the 9000 wineries of the Bordeaux region).
Today, the Carbonnieux estate covers 170 hectares of land at the gateway to Bordeaux, including vineyards on 92 adjoining hectares, with almost equal quantities of red and white varieties.

Vineyard

119 Plots, 119 personalities

The selection of grape varieties suited to soil types has been an integral part of the special winemaking culture of Château Carbonnieux for centuries.
The implantation of each red and white variety is considered carefully so that each plant can flourish in the soil by drawing on the elements that will allow it to reveal its greatest aromatic finesse.

50 hectares planted with red grape varieties:
• Cabernet Sauvignon (60%) expresses terroirs of deep and massive gravel.
• Merlot (30%) is planted in fine gravel and clay soils.
• Cabernet franc (7%) is planted in clay-limestone soils covered with fine gravel, like Petit Verdot (3%)

42 hectares planted with white varieties :
• Sauvignon blanc (65%) dominates on deep gravel soils, and, in order to lend greater expression to the wine, it is also planted in fine gravel and in clay-limestone soils.
• Sémillon (35%) is planted only in clay-limestone soils, lending the wine fleshiness and complex aromas.