Château Des Tourtes
Château des Tourtes was founded in 1967 by Philippe and Lise Raguenot, and has expanded considerably over the years. In 1997 their two daughters, Emmanuelle and Marie-Pierre, took over the property, and, with the help of their respective husbands Daren and Eric, have continued the family tradition of wine making.
From its humble beginnings of three hectares, Philippe and Lise grew the property to more than 40 hectares of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon and Sauvignon blanc vines. Emmanuelle and Marie-Pierre have continued the expansion of the property to more than 60 hectares today, with the additon of Malbec and Petit Verdot varieties. The family owns 2 estates, Château des Tourtes and Château Haut Beyzac in the Haut Medoc.
The climate is very similar on both sides of the river, what differs mainly is the soils. Merlot is planted in the cooler clay soils and Cabernet Sauvignon on lighter gravel soils. Haut-Medoc is actually limestone and clay whereas Blaye is sand and clay, hence the lighter, softer wines in the latter. They avoid fertile and deep soils for the best wines, in fact they encourage roots to grow deep and will always do careful soil evaluation before planting a new vineyard. They use machines a lot and believe sincerely that there is not quality loss with machine harvested grapes, in fact they say it offers much more flexibility being able to harvest at night or on a moments notice before a storm, which for regions like this is important. It’s important to cull out unripe, diseased and damaged fruit before the harvester gets into the vineyard. The new machines pick fast and clean. They have an older Gregoire over-the-row that is used only for harvesting. The only grapes that are hand harvested are used for Cremant.
Philippe and Lise are strict believers in regulating vine yields and the relationship between yield and wine quality. They have earned more than 100 medals over the past 25 years, as well as numerous press articles that honour, every year, their commitment to making wine.