Situated south of Saint-Emilion with its unique silhouette, Château La Gaffelière welcomes thousands of visitors on the road D122. Formerly part of the estate, this path was offered to the community back when its people still traveled on horseback.
Chateau la Gaffeliere evokes a great wine, a 1st Great Growth since the beginning of St Emilion’s classification in 1959. The vine has been present on the lands of Château La Gaffelière since Gallo-Roman times, as demonstrated by the numerous mosaics discovered by Comte Léo de Malet Roquefort in 1969. A strange coincidence: Ausonius had a vineyard in the same spot (4th century). The Malet Roquefort family is convinced that these mosaics decorated the rooms of his villa. The quality of these decorative elements confirms the richness of this place, called “le Palat” (Palatium = Palace).
Our wine comes from an exceptional terroir, a “golden triangle” nested between the hills of Pavie and Ausone.
But a great terroir is nothing without the willingness of men. The family de Malet Roquefort has run the estate with passion for more than 3 centuries, with a single purpose: upgrading the vineyards whilst producing an amazing ageing wine.
Currently, the estate extends to over 38 ha including 22ha in 1st Grand Cru Classé.
Our plots are located on 3 different areas :
The asteriated limestone plateau : clay layers and green marls 3 to 5 meters thick jammed between two limestone bedrocks. The plateau rises 90m above sea level.
From the 16th century, limestone was extracted on a large scale ; the stones were used to build the Bordeaux monuments and mansions.
The hill side, south and south-west facing : it is a favourable position for vine growing because it combines a nice exposure for ripeness and a slope for a natural water drainage. Furthermore, the Fronsac molasse (clay subsoil) helps to regulate the water input and the mineral feeding of the plant.
The foot of the hillside : made of deep carbonates sands. This soil is fragile but healthy. It requires special care and a precise work to bring out the finesse of the grape.
Since 2000, we started an important replanting program. Now our vines are able to age peacefully to a median of 35 years.
Our work methods have evolved to offer an environment-friendly viticulture. Our agricultural methods are well thought-out and our actions sound in order to accommodate for the most gentle solutions.
The vines are pruned in Double and Single Guyot depending on the density of plantation. They are disbudded on every other bud in order to aerate the future crop. The pruned shoots are shredded in the row and contribute to the natural soil enrichment.
Between the rows, natural cover encourages the development of biodiversity, reduces erosion and has a positive impact on the vigour of the vine. The soils are worked mechanically.
Leaf stripping and green harvesting are meticulously done in order to bring maximum sun and a perfect ripeness.
The guiding thread of our work is the respect of the terroir and its grapes. We look for a ripe, full fruit. The tasting of berries remains an essential step in order to schedule the precise date of harvest for each plot.
The grapes are hand-picked into small crates and put straight into a cold storage (8°C) for one night.
The vineyard is composed by 75% merlot and 25% cabernet franc.