The grapevines are planted in a clay and calcareous soil and can be found between 75 and 100 meters above the Dordogne’s riverbed. Being “at altitude” helps the vines to avoid the damaging effects of the mist that often invades the banks of the river. It also allows a natural ventilation of the vines and eventually spares us from conducting any anti-botrytis treatment.
The vineyard is spread over 23 hectares:
1 ha of Sauvignon, 13 ha of Merlot, 4 ha of Cabernet Sauvignon, 4 ha of Cabernet Franc and 1 ha of Malbec.
22 years is the average age of the vine and there are up to 3,333 wine stocks per hectare.
The focus at Chateau Le Sèpe is on the quality of our wines. In order to maintain this quality we try to restrict the average yield per hectare, which is why our yield is consistently below the maximum allowed by regulators (currently up 20%).
Steep grounds and a dense ground cover allow the soils to be constantly drained and favour the development of microorganisms, while brushes constitute a favorable environment to biodiversity.
The excellence of the Château le Sèpe’s wines is explained by the outstanding quality of our land.
THE RUNNING OF THE VINEYARD
The stocks are manually pruned through a method called “simple or double guyot”.
A manual thinning-out is also done on the top and on the side of the vineyard that faces the rising sun. This reinforces the positive effects of ventilation. No chemical products are used.
The harvest is done mechanically, often during the night in order to conserve the coolness of the fruit destined to the vat.
The grape bunches are grazed and the fruit is crushed before going into the vats.
The red wines fermentation is controlled by “thermoregulation”. Daily turning of the vats’ contents is done in order to help the extraction of the tannins.
The next stage – maturing – takes place in stainless steel vats, concrete-made vats or French oak barrels depending on the type of vintage. Saury, Taransaud, Cadus and Bel-Air barrels have a capacity of 225 or 400 litres.