Vineyard and Biodynamics

Today the Chambert vineyard covers 65Ha of the finest terroirs of the highest part of Cahors, 45 Ha of which are located directly around the château. The average height above sea level is 300m and only the best south-east facing slopes are planted with vines.

The vineyard area for making AOC Cahors is 80% Malbec and 17% Merlot. 3% of the estate is planted with Chardonnay.

The planting density of the vineyards is 4500 vines/Ha and 7400 vines/Ha for the vineyards planted since 2007.

Our Highland cattle cows can be seen in the vineyard (after harvesting until the end of winter) or in the fileds (from spring until harvesting)


A Great Terroir

Always striving for the best expression of terroir, the entire vineyard is divided into more than 100 parcels, each corresponding to a unique quality, such as orientation of the vines, vine age, soil type and the position of the vines on the slope. The entire 65 Ha is worked biodynamically and each parcel expresses its own character and personality in a totally natural environment. 

Location :
Located on a limestone plateau of the southern Quercy, 100 km north of Toulouse and 35 km west of Cahors, Chambert overlooks the valley of the Lot from an altitude of 300 meters. The vineyards are planted high around the château and isolated from surrounding vineyards and the urban world. The exposition of the slopes allows the vines to enjoy ample sunshine and maritime and continental air currents drive away the morning mist. These predispositions are an incredible asset when working in organic agriculture because they allow a pesticide and fungicide-free environment.  

Climate :
The climate is predominantly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean; however a continental effect makes the winters of Cahors cooler and the summers warmer than Bordeaux to the West. The Mediterranean Sea also influences the high slopes of Chambert and manifests a warm southerly wind from Africa during the important ripening months of September and October. The proximity of the river Lot acts as a thermal buffer and reduces the diurnal temperatures and the risk of frost which is a common occurrence in other regions located at a significant distance from the ocean. 
Chambert is located up high on the upper plateau of AOC Cahors and has a higher thermal amplitude than down in the Lot valley.

Soil :
For 20 million years, fossils, shells and other remnants of flora and marine fauna have accumulated, often to the thickness of 600 meters. Then came a period of ten million years known as the Kimmeridgian (late Jurassic), during which hillsides were formed. Our region was covered by shallow mudflats with low tides, and deposits of clay silt containing ammonites, fossilized oysters and other shellfish which accumulated to a thickness of 300 meters. One can occasionally come across some of the fossils today among the rows of vineyards.

After this period, the seabed rose, the water retreated, and the deposits were eventually transformed into compact limestone. During the last hundred million years, thanks to the alternation of ice ages and warm periods and the action of the air and rain, this layer has been broken up several meters deep, leaving a residual clay. These layers of clay and limestone deposits are the basis of part of the Quercy, often covered by other more recent deposits: ferrous clay, more recent sediments, silt, etc...

The soil consists of two very distinct soil characteristics that exist in different proportions for each of the 100 plots and provide infinite complexity for the final wine: White clay and limestone from oysters and fossilized marine life coated in decomposed clay ( Kimmeridgien period, 150 to 155 million years ago), identical to the soil found in Chablis. These soils give the Chambert wines their mineral precision, elegant acidity and great length. 

Red Clay (Siderolithic) : a clay with very high concentrations of iron that was formed at a time when the land of Chambert resembled a tropical rain forest. (Eocene period, 34 to 56 million years ago). This type of soil gives the wine power and aromas of brooding black fruit.

Grapes :

Malbec, the historic grape of Cahors, is known locally as Côt Noir or Auxerrois, and it represents 80% of the vines planted at Chambert. This variety requires a great deal of care and provides very fruity and powerful wines. Merlot, an aromatic and supple varietal, represents 17% of the domain, and the remaining 3% of vines are Chardonnay.

Note: a wine produced in the AOC Cahors area must contain a mandatory minimum of 70% Malbec and only the varieties of Merlot to Tannat can complete this blend. 

Gentle pruning is performed on our vines in winder, respecting the sap flow and extending the vines life span.

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