To the north, the property has two prestigious neighbours Mouton and Lafite. The Pontet-Canet vineyard, located in the commune of Pauillac, covers 81 hectares (200 acres). It is made up of around one hundred plots and 800,000 vines looking out over the Gironde estuary.
A chosen land
From the elegant flat top of the château, we overlook the river...Alfred Tesseron
At the heart of the Pontet-Canet terroir known as the “plateau”, a gentle broad outcrop of Garonne gravel soil dating from the Günz era that sits on a bedrock of limestone. This poor, well-drained soil is renowned for being particularly suited to the character of great Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape variety which represents over 60% in the blend of the “grand vin” of Pontet Canet.
Some plots situated at the top of the outcrop were planted at the end of the 1940s. These old vines are very deep-rooted and produce the finest quality grapes. There are still a great many of these old vines, and the average age of the vineyard is 50 years.
The other part of the vineyard is located near the “river”, not far from the village of Pouyalet. This zone is much chalkier; in some plots the limestone can be seen on the surface; in others, clay shows through.
These cooler, richer soils are better suited to Merlot and produce wines that are more structured and fleshy in texture. To establish a link with the viticultural past, four plots located on the edge of the outcrop have been planted with the Petit Verdot variety, which brings spicy aromas to the Pontet-Canet “grand vin”.
At Pontet-Canet, the human senses play a greater role than laboratory analyses.Michel Rolland
Over the course of years, knowledge about the estate’s terroirs has gained in precision, intimacy and substance.
This deeper understanding of the different terroirs has in turn brought about greater precision in the monitoring of the ripeness processes within each plot and micro-plot.
When the blending process is carried out, each sample from different individual plots undergo thorough assessment in the tasting glass. The quest to bring out the original purity of the grapes in the wine is relentless.