Château d’Arricaud’s vineyard consists of a single block of 23 hectares of vines, planted on a mantle of the region’s characteristic clay-gravel on the higher ground, while at the base of the slopes the red asteriated clay-limestone soil is apparent at the surface. This rich terroir has a strong personality, and has shown itself to be generous both in terms of quantity and quality.
In order to meet the property’s quality objectives, the choice of vine is adapted to each plot. The red varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, are planted mainly on the clay-gravel soil. While the white varieties, Sémillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle are planted on both the gravel and clay-limestone soil types.
As a result of knowledge and expertise passed down over many generations, several styles of pruning are practised: Single Guyot (with one branch) for the Merlot and Sémillon, Médoc-style pruning for the Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc, and “à côt” (very short) for the vines that produce the sweet white wines.
Removal of excess growth, removal of secondary buds, leaf stripping and thinning of the bunches are adapted every year depending on the weather and the vines’ vigour.
Other traditional, sustainable vineyard practices include natural fertilization, minimal use of phytosanitary products, and optimization of the vineyard’s protection by the stimulation of natural defences.
Regular technical monitoring enables tailored management of each plot until véraison (the start of ripening at the end of July). Finally, each grape variety is harvested separately when it has fully ripened, i.e. when it presents optimal quality.