Château Léoville Poyferré - The property

Property

Second Classified Growth in 1855, located in the prestigious appellation of Saint-Julien.

Born from 80 hectares of exceptional terroir and the ancestral savoir-faire of our teams, nurtured by the Cuvelier Family since 1920.

Property - Léoville Poyferré

Once upon a time …

It is often said that man is made by history, and it is much the same for wine.  The history of Léoville dates back to 1638, recounting the complex tale of men and women, family inheritances and property divisions. Each part of that story resides in the stones of the soil beneath our feet and the walls that surround us, echoing their legacy through the ages.

The history of a Second Grand Cru Classé in 1855 : Château Léoville Poyferré, established in 1840 when Baron Jean-Marie de Poyferré added his name to Léoville.

A land of legends

The expression of terroir

Nothing tells a greater story than a bottle of wine. The vines take root in the soils providing the immutable backdrop, endowing the wines with their unique qualities. Léoville Poyferré is anchored in one of the most intimate appellations of the Médoc: Saint-Julien.

Scattered across the appellation as far as the eye can see, like stars pebbling the evening sky, the secrets of Saint-Julien are held within their most precious gems: graves. Carried along by the alluvial deposit, these stones were polished by the Gironde as it formed the iconic Estuary that divides the viticultural landscape of Bordeaux.

The 920 hectares of the appellation have become a collection of manicured gardens that provide a myriad of attributes. They are the wealth of our terroir, and offer us the most beautiful pallet with which to compose our wines.

 

The Vineyard

Dispersed over 80 hectares of Saint-Julien and split into several groups, our vineyard reflects all the richness and diversity of the appellation.

Within this, to the northwest of the appellation, are the 20 hectares of Chateau Moulin Riche, forming a single block for a unique expression of the terroir.

Terroirs

Terraces of Mindel gravel, sandy-clay subsoil

Planted Grape Varieties

63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc

Average Vine Age

38 years

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“Our team contributes to the excellence of our wines each and every day.” Isabelle Davin

Biodiversité - Poyferré

A respect for nature

Maintaining a balance

Thanks to the beauty of this terroir, the history of Léoville Poyferré grows richer year after year. A cycle that renews itself and surprises us every time, the life of the vine commences in Spring, punctuated by the rhythm of the seasons. In tune with the oceanic climate, the vine reveals all its potential for a brief summer moment, before returning to its winter dormancy.

Grapes are a precious gift from nature, for which we must give back to the land in order to maintain a natural balance. This is a conscious, daily undertaking in which we must continually challenge ourselves and our best practices. Château Léoville Poyferré integrated the Système de Management Environnemental (SME) – Environmental Management System – for Bordeaux wines in 2016.  The SME rapidly became a powerful ally that has allowed us to maintain and enhance our sustainable practices already in place for many years. As a testament to these efforts, Château Léoville Poyferré is proud to have obtained the Haute Valeur Environnementale certification- High Environmental Value – level 3 (the highest level) since the 2017 vintage for the ensemble of its vineyard.

Biodiversité - Poyferré

Work in the Vineyard

The art and the method

Just as a conductor directs an orchestra, Vineyard Manager Bruno Clenet, accompanied by Assistant Vineyard Manager David Aguirre, guides the vine through its annual cycle. Vigilance, reactivity and adaptation are the keys to success with the goal of limiting interventions to only when necessary. The vines are encouraged to root deep into the soil, thus taking advantage of all its benefits. The delicate alchemy between the vine and the earth is preserved by traditional soil management.

Today, as in yesteryear, each vineyard worker is responsible for his or her vineyard plots. Vines are pruned using the traditional « double guyot » method, which allows the number of bunches per vine to be limited. This meticulous technique respects the flow of the vine’s sap and increases longevity, while reducing the risk of vine disease. The first step is to cut off all of the year’s growth, called canes, leaving one cane on each side of the vine’s trunk. The canes are then folded down and attached to the trellis wire. At the beginning of May, other canopy management techniques are carried out: desuckering, debudding, deleafing, topping and trimming, and crop thinning if necessary.

Property - Léoville Poyferré

The Harvest

The right choice at the right moment

About three weeks before the beginning of harvest, our winemaking team get together with Consulting Oenologist Michel Rolland. Together, they go through the vineyard and taste the grape berries to evaluate their ripeness. Analyses of phenolic and technical maturity complement and confirm impressions during daily tastings. Plans for the harvest begin to take shape.

The culmination of a year’s work now comes to fruition. The expert hands of our permanent vineyard team, with help from additional seasonal workers, make sure that each bunch is picked by hand with care. Grape clusters are then transported to the vat house in crates so they arrive in beautiful, healthy condition.

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Property - Léoville Poyferré

Vinification

A masterful touch

Once the grapes arrive at the vat house, they are sorted twice: first by hand on tables before destemming, then a second time by optical sorting machine before crushing to eliminate any vegetal matter. In order to appreciate and make the most of the diversity of our vineyard, vinifications are carried out plot-by-plot and by grape variety in the 57 thermo-regulated stainless steel tanks, of which 27 are double-walled. These 27 tanks allow pre-fermentation cold macerations that generally last about a week. This technique enhances the purity of the fruit aromas and the intensity of the color. To further protect this “red gold”, the property adopted a new bio-protection system in 2018: non-saccharomyces yeast is added to the must, thus eliminating the traditional use of SO2 at this stage.

Pump-overs are carried out daily for each of our tanks until the end of alcoholic fermentation. Day after day, this transformation of sugar into alcohol is guided by Château Oenologist Isabelle Davin and Cellar Master Didier Thomann until each tank reaches its full aromatic potential. Temperature, duration of extraction, quantity of oxygen, and frequency of pump-overs are the decisive parameters that will be guided by their masterful touch.

Property - Léoville Poyferré

Barrel Aging

Experience and creativity, the ideal blend

Once the vinifications have finished and the wines run off from their skins, the ultimate metamorphosis occurs : grape skins are pressed to obtain the “press wine”, the final expression of a wine’s power. The wood can now envelope this superb libation, and carry it to its destiny. Our wines are aged exclusively in French oak barrels for 18 months. Particular care is taken in the choice of our barrels to obtain subtle oak aromas in harmony with the Léoville Poyferré style.

A perfect osmosis between the wood and the wine must occur. In order for this to happen, wines undergo their malolactic fermentation in barrel, resulting in the stability and suppleness of our wines.

A crucial step in the creation of our wine is blending, our winemaking team’s quest for the perfect harmony. Our different plots of vines, each with their own personality, are like notes of music with which to compose a beautiful melody. This union gives birth to a symphony, the veritable spirit of Château Léoville Poyferré.

A team dedicated to excellence

Sara Lecompte Cuvelier - Léoville Poyferré

Isabelle Davin

Oenologist
Sara Lecompte Cuvelier - Léoville Poyferré

Didier Thomann

Cellar Master
Sara Lecompte Cuvelier - Léoville Poyferré

Bruno Clenet

Vineyard Manager
Sara Lecompte Cuvelier - Léoville Poyferré

Anne Cuvelier

Communication and Wine Tourism Manager
Sara Lecompte Cuvelier - Léoville Poyferré

Sara Lecompte Cuvelier

General Director