The word ‘terroir’ is the association of many different factors, the geographical area, the climate, the micro-climate, the chemical, physical and hydraulic characteristics of the soil and the underlying rock and also the grapevine itself and the rootstock onto which it has been grafted.  Every vineyard has its own unique ‘terroir’

 The Soil  

This soil type varies from the Bordeauxvineyard to that of the Bordeaux Superieur.
Due to the fact that Château LeMaine Martin is the wine from several different vineyards there is a big difference from one part to another.

Marshy soil: rich, deep alluvial soil

Gravelly Soil: Gravel soil, composed of gravel and coarse sand which are very favourable to vine growing

Clay soil: highly fertile, water-retaining soil

Sand on loes soil

This great geological diversity present around our vineyard combined with the different grape varieties grown on those soils mean that every plot has to be managed differently. This diversity gives our wine its uniqueness when compared to other Châteaux.

The Château Toulouze Graves de Vayres is planted on a magnificent gravel soil, with no chalk on very ancient alluvion and sand, highly reputed for growing premium-quality grapes.

The grape varieties.

From an oenological point of view, a grape variety is distinguished by the composition of its grapes and the bunches it forms, the biochemical character of the grape juice, the skins, the pips and the stalks. But these characteristics can vary according to the way the vine plant is grown and the soil on which it is planted. The taste of one. Experience shows that the best wines are produced from grapes obtained from vines just reaching maturity in a certain climate and in a certain region. This means that the type of grape variety grown in a certain area is determined by the soil and the climate in that particular region.

The average age of a vine will vary from 30 to 60 years from the time it is grafted onto the rootstock.

The Bordeaux grape varieties :
In contrast to many other wine growing regions, the wines ofBordeauxare a blend of several different grape varieties. There is a current trend to produceBordeauxfrom one single variety, notably Merlot in response to the consumer demand worldwide for single-variety wines as a result of the introduction of such wines by the New wine producing countries.

Eventually, we fear, this will be detrimental to the image ofBordeaux, who will lose their identity and personality due to this simplification. It may be true that for new wine consumers, in particular those from abroad, theBordeauxappellations are slightly difficult to understand, whereas single-variety wines are easily identified.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc give the wine its rich colour, body, bouquet and great ageing potential. The best wines are obtained from gravelly, sandy, arid soil.
  • Merlot : gives a wine mellowness, and balance and enables earlier maturity. Our Merlot grows on moist, cooler clay soil.
  • Petit Verdot: we only grow a small quantity – the grapes ripen later. This variety gives extra balance to a wine.

Both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are the most widely grown grapes varieties in theBordeauxregion, but also in many other countries. 

Merlot produces wines with notes of liquorice, coffee, orange and most pronounced of all caramel.
Wines produced from Cabernet Sauvignon have pronounced notes of pepper and capsicum.

Of the twelve most common aromas associated with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the most powerful is that of cherry, which characterizes both varieties to the same degree. Both varieties have a similar range of aromas, but the easiest way to make the difference is the caramel, more pronounced in the Merlot and the Capsicum in the Cabernet Sauvignon

The climate

The grape vine does not tolerate the cold. It needs a lot of sun and moderate rainfall. The maritime climate inBordeauxsuits the vines perfectly.

The taste of a wine varies from one vintage to the next, from one grape variety to another and according to the nature of the soil, but a good terroir will regularly produce wines of good quality, providing they are made from a grape variety which suits that particular terroir. The most delicate task is to choose the variety which is the best adapted to that area. However, all of these factors alone are not enough -  the human factor has a very important part to play. It is the winegrower who plants and tends the vines and fertilises the soil.