Study of Chopin by Coline-Marie Orliac
The property Labastide Orliac is located on the first hillsides bordering the river Garonne in the heart of the wine appellations of South West France between the vineyards of Bordeaux in the north, Cahors in the east and Madiran in the southwest.
C'est cette terre qui a produit les vins servis à la table de la cour du roi Louis XVI
Labastide Orliac is located on the right bank of the Garonne where geological layers rich in limestone and clay are found, similar to Pommerol and Saint Emilion. This special terroir makes the richness of these wines.
The limestone gives finesse and minerality to the wine; it requires that the water and the roots of the vine cross flow through the chalk to reach the clays of the lower layers, where the water needed for its equilibrium is sourced.
Water management becomes an essential part of this viticulture. It is in this rare equilibrium that the grapes will find their particular flavour, and give their typicity so unique to the wine of Labastide Orliac.
From the terroir derives the location of the grape varieties
Cabernet sauvignon (about 5pc), the third grape variety, is planted facing south on a very calcareous soil at the top of the driest slopes. This is the optimal condition to obtain the maturity of the grapes.
Tannat plants (10pc), a famous grape of the Pyrenees and Madiran, are oriented to the south, but planted at the bottom of the hillside to obtain the best possible hydration from runoff water that will recall their mountaineous origin. The tannat structures the wine and gives it a particular dark colour.
As for the Abouriou (15pc), this vine dating from he XVIII century, is a survivor of the phylloxera; a plant was miraculously found in the 1940’s and an area of one-and-a-half hectares has been planted from multiple grafting of the grapes.
Modernization of operating methods
In recent years, the Estate has modified its methods of exploitation to better take into account the challenges related to biodiversity, land depletion and global warming.
Thus, we planted rows of trees and shrubs between the vines that will retain the water flowing down from the hillside, promoting a natural biodiversity. As a result, an animal fauna has become established which attacks the pests of the vine. For example, bats eat worms that cause botrytis rot.
We have also started a process on soil cultivation aimed at eliminating weed killers, especially with the development for the harvest of new robots with artificial intelligence, and paradoxically the return of the use of the horse in the vines.
The wines of Domaine Labastide-Orliac consist of a blend of 5 grape varieties (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Abouriou).
Merlots and Cabernets Franc dominate the blend (about 70pc). They are planted in a north orientation to grow in the coolest temperatures possible.