The Pinesse was nothing than a small piece of land, so-called "La Pièce" before the plantation of the Landes Forest. Initiated by Napolean III in the middle of the 19th century, it is today the largest artificial forest in Western Europe. Born out of the will of man, the Landes Forest achieved to fix dunes pushed by the wind and the Atlantic Ocean as well as improve hygiene and agriculture conditions on the Silver Coast of France.
The poet Theophile Gautier wrote in his poem Le Pin des Landes: “Il faut qu’il ait au cœur une entaille profonde / Pour épancher ses vers, divines larmes d’or !”
(translation:"It must have a deep notch in his heart / To pour out his verses, divine tears of gold!")
Today the divine tears of gold are the Sauternes: a magic and unique wine, created by Man, Nature and Terroir. Most of the vineyards of Château Lapinesse, are located in Barsac whose terroir offers a minerality and a nice acidity to these great balanced wines.
The appellation Barsac benefits from a specific micro climate, due to the confluence of the Ciron, a cold stream from the Landes, and the warmer waters of Garonne river. Stopped by the pine forest, the morning fogs caused by this micro climate and dissipated by the Aquitaine sunlight in the late morning, are favourable to the development of Noble Rot (Botrytis Cinerea).
On the plateau of High-Barsac in Château Lapinesse, on the left bank of the Ciron, the soils are particularly suitable to the vine. The substrate on the surface is a cracked and permeable chalk platform. On surface of this typical red soil of Barsac remain big pebbles, ie. results of coarse sands with little clay. In short, a thin soil, forty to fifty centimeters deep, through which the roots pass to colonize the limestone rock. This unique soil originality within the five villages of the Sauternes appellation area justifies the existence of Barsac AOC.
The Grape Varieties
Sémillon, the emblematic grape variety for sweet wines, is certainly from the Sauternes region.
In maturity, the thick skin of the grapes is favourable to the development of the famous Botrytis Cinerea, a tiny fungus which allows the natural concentration of the grape's sugars. The skin of the overripe and botrytised berries becomes purple and their pulp turns into golden jam...
The juices, that show a great aromatic smoothness, develop notes of apricot, orange and dried fruits.
Regarding our Graves red wines, the traditional Bordeaux grape varieties are : Merlot for the roundness and the fruity, and Cabernet Sauvignon for the structure and the ageing capacity.
All the modern winemaking techniques are applied to all our wines: skin maceration, cold stabilisation, temperature monitoring, ageing on fine lees for our dry white wines, ageing in oak barrel for our liqueur-like wines and maturing in stainless-steel vat for our sweet wines.
Cold pre-fermentation maceration, pumping over and stirring, deposit removal and filtering for our red wines.
Our cuvées are aged in oak barrel during 12 in the greatest of Bordeaux traditions.