Beneath the ledges of the limestone plateau, the advance of the Côte Pavie molasses mass has created a ridge elevation with a drop of nearly 50 metres.

The reasons for cultivating vines on hillsides (rather than rumps or valleys) have been proven many times. Sunshine conditions are exceptional and the natural drainage is ideal. However, water circulates so quickly on slopes that there can be considerable damage caused if no attempt is made to combat erosion. Hedge preservation, work on soil permeability and the installation of surface water drainage within grassy avenues have enabled us to better regulate run-off water, which is abundant during storm rainfall.

A single piece of land, the Château Larcis Ducasse vineyard covers multiple, primarily sedimentary, geological formations, which explain the elevations. Moving down from the Côte there is an outcrop of tertiary soils, creating three types of prime winemaking terroirs:

  • The ‘Plateau de Saint Emilion’, a large slab of asteriated limestone
  • The ‘Grande Côte de Saint-Emilion’, known as the Côte Pavie, a long and steep slope descending towards the South (slopes of up to 25%)
  • The ‘Pied de Côte de Saint-Emilion’: a slope with a gentle incline (2-5%), made up of molasses and then fluvial sands and covered with sandy clay soil

The estate commissioned David Pernet (Sovivins) to perform a complete study of soil profiles, creating 85 zoning holes. This led to a better understanding of viticultural behaviour, and was valuable to us on the ground, as it has enabled us to optimise the terroir’s potential by ensuring the most judicious choices for viticulture and winemaking.
This collection of high-quality terroirs, alongside the grape varieties used, creates a range of expressions as diverse as they are complementary. This nourishes the complexity and nobility of the wines produced by Château Larcis Ducasse.