Stretching for 26 hectares on a hillside overlooking the river Garonne, Château Réaut is located near the city of Rions, only 4 km from Cadillac.
Nestled on the right bank of the river, south-east of Bordeaux, this estate provides a particularly favourable setting to grow exceptional grapes.
With vines dating back to Roman times, this area plays an important part in Bordeaux’s long tradition of wine production.
Château Réaut’s vineyard is comprised of 18 ha of south-facing hillside, as well as 8 ha of flat gravelly soil.
Château Réaut’s vineyard sits on a gently rolling south-facing hill (about 18 ha) and extends onto a rich gravelly plateau of 8 ha. The area benefits from Bordeaux’s typical oceanic climate and a very favourable micro-climate with early warm days and abundant sunlight.
The 18 ha clay-limestone hillside facing south – south west is the ideal environment to grow the Merlot and Cabernet Franc grape varietals. This section represents 70% of the vineyard.
Planted at a high density of 5,500 vines/hectare to ensure a very low yield per vine (6 to 8 bunches at most), these grape varietals can reach their full potential and express the complexity of the terroir with every vintage. It comes as no surprise that Merlot and Cabernet Franc are the dominant grapes in other local terroirs, such as the world-renown Pomerol and Saint Emilion.
Indeed these varietals, like all red grapes, need heat to grow and ripen but also a sufficient supply of water. Clay and limestone therefore act like a “sponge”, slowly releasing the right amount of water during the ripening process for the grapes to develop their most typical aromatic qualities, while preserving a taste of fresh fruit.
The estate includes a stunning 8-hectare gravel plateau, entirely dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon. This area represents 30% of the vineyard.
This varietal, unlike Merlot and Cabernet Franc, is much better suited to the lack of water in summer. Cabernet Sauvignon buds later and therefore needs a warmer, drier and poorer environment in order to force it into ripeness as early as possible. It goes without saying that gravelly soils have more pebbles and stones and less loam, which makes them poorer and rather dry. Due to the relatively small amount of soil, vineyards can be exposed to the effects of water stress earlier or later in the year. This is why, in the gravelly terroirs of the Grands Crus du Medoc, Cabernet Sauvignon usually produces very ripe berries, perfectly healthy because they ripen fairly early.
The perfect association of grape varietal and soil composition, the optimal sunlight exposure, the influence of the nearby river (which works as a temperature regulator to soak up the heat in summer and release it when the temperatures drop), a densely planted vineyard (to ensure lower yield per vine) and of course the extreme care with which the vines are tended throughout the year, allow Château Réaut to make the most of its incredible terroir.
The vineyard, fully replanted between 2004 and 2009 at a high density of 5,500 vines/hectare, guarantees a consistent high-quality production, which is of paramount importance if we are to expect exceptional wines every year.
To allow the finest and most distinctive features of each variety to develop, only the best clones have been selected. The objective is to ensure a moderate and stable production for each vine and allow each berry to reach perfect ripeness at the same time.