Soils and varieties    Vineyard training    Harvest


Domaine view (june 2002). click to enlarge



Historically confined to the 2 Hectare wall-closed yard, the Château des Couldraies vineyard has been fully restructured and extended close by during the last ten years. It now stretches over more than twelve hectares of controlled origin soils, out of which ten are located on the southern hills of the Cher river. The muddy and stony soils (called "perruches") are favourable to the vine plant, which has grown here for many centuries.

The various planted red grape-varieties include GAMAY, CABERNET FRANC, PINOT NOIR, GROLLEAU and COT up to 60% of the yield.

The 40% remaining yield is planted with white grape-varieties : SAUVIGNON, CHARDONNAY and CHENIN (Pineau de la Loire).

The density of 6667 vinestocks per hectare and a rigorous pruning policy enable yield control, which does not exceed 55 Hl per hectare. The average age of the vines is approximatively 20 years.



The Domain's three main objectives are :

  • to limit the yields, in order to improve grape aromatic load,
  • to balance the soil microbial life, by scientific use of soil improvers and fertilizers,
  • to lead disease protection, by using only strictly necessary phytosanitary products.

This vineyard training relies also on a pruning policy, adapted to the grape-varieties and their potentials, as well as a green pruning program giving to the Domain, at the vintage period, a de-budded and thinned-out vine plant.

 All this enhances a good grape ripeness and makes the hand-made harvest easier.

The harvest planning is depending on ripeness samplings for each variety, made in the very close days before probable beginning date of harvest.



Bourgeons de printemps, gare aux cerfs !<br>Tendres et fragiles, mais volontaires.

Rangs bien denses et alignés,<br>un océan de verdure en été.

Vines and seasons at the Domain

Palette de couleurs automnale,<br>vendanges et fête générale !

Ceps en hiver, avant la taille<br>dans le froid, attendant qu'il s'en aille


Le hotteur, rôle physique et difficile, mais respecté

Le coupeur, attentif au tri des grappes et expert du sécateur épinette

Tapis élévateur menant les grappes entières vers le pressoir pneumatique

Cagettes ajourées emplies d'environ 30 kg de vendanges fraîches pour Crémant de Loire



The Domain perpetuates the tradition of the hand-made harvest for a few special vintages, requiring particular sorting on the stock: old Sauvignon vines, very young stocks, varieties dedicated to Crémant de Loire (quick grape putting into tanks without crushing thanks to special drilled boxes).

Hand-made harvest enables a better sort of the bunches, to collect only the ripe and healthy parts. Even if the harvesting machine is nowadays doing an excellent job, optimal quality is obtained by human understanding. The result is in the bottle, and our customers are pleased with it... 

Depending on October climate, some years we organize a tiny "Late Vintage" of golden and sweet Chenin bunches : harvest is then made only of grape-berries, for the happiness of our best customers. 

Among other traditions, the Domain perpetuates the morning, brunch. It is appreciated by the harvesters, facilitates team building spirit and quality challenging.


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