Château Luchey-Halde has been reborn: it was once one of the most reputable vineyards in the Mérignac area and has now been totally recreated by Bordeaux Sciences Agro (the National School of Agronomic Sciences). Château Luchey-Halde uses technology and innovation at the service of tradition. Whether it is in the vineyard or the cellars the Château takes advantage of the knowledge and expertise brought by the school.
Château Luchey-Halde prepares and transmits tomorrow’s agriculture.
Château Luchey-Halde makes top quality wines that are accessible to everyone. The wines are fine and subtle and will accompany all your happy and shared moments.
Château Luchey-Halde also has a dynamic and passionate team at your service!
A UNIQUE HISTORY
In 1999 Bordeaux Sciences Agro, the National School of Agronomic Sciences, brought Château Luchey-Halde back to life after it had disappeared 80 years earlier. Vines were planted on the land of the current estate from the days of the Roman Empire. Over the centuries many estates disappeared following various crises and urban expansion.
In 1920, the Luchey estate was snapped up in turn by the French Ministry of Defence which turned it into a military training area, thus preserving it from urbanisation. When the French Army sold the land in 1999, Bordeaux Science Agro spotted the opportunity to start a vineyard from scratch and to showcase its expertise.
THE TERROIR (OR SOIL)
Château Luchey-Halde is situated in the heart of Bordeaux in the prestigious Pessac-Leognan appellation and benefits from an exceptional terroir.
It is constituted of several ridges which contain gravel, pebbles and fine soil deposited by the Garonne River and its tributaries between the end of the Tertiary and the beginning of the Quatenary periods. It is a poor but well-drained soil perfectly adapted to winegrowing in the oceanic climate of Bordeaux.
The vineyard covers 23 hectares with 19 hectares planted with the following red grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (35%), Cabernet-Franc (5%) and Petit Verdot (5%). The remaining 4 hectares are planted with white varieties: Sauvignon blanc (37%), Sauvignon gris (18%) and Sémillon (45%).
A very thorough soil analysis carried out by the teacher-researchers at Bordeaux Science Agro has allowed for the optimal planting of grape varieties with their corresponding soil types.
This study also revealed the excellent potential of this terroir and the possibility of producing wines of great quality. As a consequence, Bordeaux Science Agro initiated an ambitious planting programme based on high-density planting, soil preparation and respect for the environment. For a given yield, this high-density planting allows fewer bunches of grapes to grow on the vines leading to higher concentrations of juice in the berries. Preparing the soil permits the control of ground flora as well as enabling the vines to extend their roots deeper in search of nourishment.
We produce between 100,000 and 150,000 bottles of red and white wine each year.
In order to extend the substantial work undertaken in the vineyard, the grapes are harvested by hand and put into small containers.
The red grapes are carefully transported to the grape reception area at the winery, which was built in 2002 for the sake of practicality and innovation. It consists of a circular, semi-buried vatroom which uses gravity to move the grapes to the vats, which are transported whole and then crushed as they fall into the fermenting tanks. This is done to preserve the maximum aromatic potential of the future wine.
The stainless steel tanks allow for an optimal vinification process. During this period, with the help of yeasts, the sugar is transformed into alcohol and the colour and tannins needed for optimal ageing are extracted.
After this phase, the wines are aged in barrels for 12 months. Barrel ageing allows the aromatic and tannic range of the wine to be completed and also sets off the maturing process which makes it perfectly ready for tasting at bottling.
The white grapes are also harvested manually and then pressed. The juice thus obtained is cleared of the largest solid parts and transferred straight into barrels where it ferments and then ages for 11 months. During this period the wine is stirred regularly thus enriching the range of tastes.
A strong commitment to sustainable development: Bordeaux Science Agro has set the bar high in the management of its urban vineyard. The Château is constantly seeking to improve its environmental performance and is a member of the Environmental Management System, the first such association for Bordeaux wines, which is certified ISO 14001. It has already allowed the vineyard management to be improved by reducing inputs, waste and waste recycling. Because of our urban position, we have also integrated the human environment in our approach through awareness and prevention campaigns.
Agro-ecology: The fact that we belong to a school of agronomy has allowed us to extend our environmental approach : we have embarked upon an agro-ecological programme based on research and innovation, the objective of which is to generate practices which are respectful of the environment and economically viable at the same time.
Transmission of our know-how: This vineyard is also a place of sharing and transmitting knowledge. It is a pedagogical tool accessible to all engineering students whether it is in the field of production, financial management or sales and marketing. We receive many interns who want to add practical experience to their studies.
BORDEAUX SCIENCES AGRO
A SCHOOL OF HIGHER EDUCATION FOR ENGINEERING AND AGRONOMY
Château Luchey-Halde is owned by Bordeaux Sciences Agro, The National School of Agronomic Sciences of Bordeaux-Aquitaine. It is an asset for the estate, which can benefit from a high-level scientific environment. On the other hand, Luchey-Halde provides a hands-on approach to teaching viticulture and oenology to the engineering and master’s students. Mainly, Bordeaux Sciences Agro wants this urban vineyard to be a “showcase” of good practices for an economically sustainable and environmentally respectful viticulture. The whole scientific community of Bordeaux Sciences Agro takes part in the “Luchey Agro-ecological project”.
For more information: www.agro-bordeaux.fr
Discover “U”, the University of Bordeaux’s wine.
In order to underline its affiliation to the University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux Sciences Agro created, in 2010, a special blend for the university community. “U” is the ambassador of Bordeaux wines for French and foreign university and research partners.