Our History and the characteristics of our local soil
CÔTES DE BORDEAUX
The soil is composed of clay, fine to coarse sand and a mixture of limestone and fossilized starfish. It lies on a subsoil of gravel and quartz. This subsoil contains a dense hydrographic network, which explains the presence of numerous springs and streams.
These, on the one hand, bring well-needed water to the vines and, on the other hand, allow them to develop a solid root system. The vines are planted in a magnificent undulating countryside amongst woods and meadows where regularly architectural marvels appear such as a 12th century church or a 14th century château.
THE LOCAL SOIL
Situated in three parishes, Francs, Tayac and St Cibard, the appellation Francs-Côtes de Bordeaux is the smallest in the Bordeaux region, since the area of vines planted is only 450 ha (selon Féret 500 ha). It is also the latest defined appellation of the region (1967).
Being the most north-eastern appellation of the Libournais, the climate is more continental than in Bordeaux and characterized by colder winters and warmer summers.
Lying between the valleys of the river Isle and the river Dordogne, the appellation is protected from heavy showers and hail storms the paths of which follow the two river valleys.
In December 2010 a dramatic event took place: Philip, the warm hearted , the one and only Philip, impassioned by wine and by authenticity, met his death in a terrible road accident, leaving Sophie and their children overwhelmed by shock and grief for several months, after which, however, Sophie decided to continue their common dream. A competent and friendly team was formed little by little and thanks notably to Raymond Berry’s experience and Michel (family name?’s) good will and the courage of all, things began slowly to get organized.
Sophie shared with Philip the same tastes and the same philosophy: to obtain natural wines with finesse, expressing their local soil (terroir) and showing richness underlying their delicate aromas. Like Philip, Sophie does not appreciate excessive wood flavours (flavors) … discretion, elegance and….naturalness.
The choice of our logo was evident: Philip was Canadian, an excellent swimmer and the otter is an allusion and a permanent tribute to him; incidentally it was also Sophie’s personal nickname for him. But (and chance does not always exist!) the otter resumes the direction taken by Château Franc-Cardinal in its respect of nature and man (human beings) . Isn’t it a fact that this little animal is only to be found in a healthy and unpolluted environment?