A limestone paradise
With its vocation as a stronghold, Château Laroque’s foundations were established on a plateau in which all the limestone soil-types of Saint-Emilion’s best terroirs can be found.
In the most empirical manner, this very calcareous geological feature, which is covered to a greater or lesser extent by a fine layer of clay, has given rise to wines of outstanding quality.
At the instigation of David Suire, a soil study was carried out on Laroque’s 61 hectares, and this confirmed the estate’s outstanding terroir, in which different “climats” (small vineyard areas) have been revealed, enabling the right choice of grape variety to be made and the best possible grape ripeness to be achieved.
“Laroque’s vines are over 50 years old and form an incomparable genetic heritage,
the precision and diversity of which bring about
a purity of expression and authenticity in the wines.”
Over a large part of the area immediately surrounding the château, the plateau’s limestone rock comes close to the surface, just as at Clos Fourtet and Château Canon, creating a chestnut-coloured clay topsoil. Towards the east, there is a layer of red clay and Agen molasse, similar to that found at Pavie-Macquin and Troplong-Mondot.
The east-facing clay terraces, like the west-facing slopes, are made up of Fronsac molasse, the same as found at Ausone and Tertre-Roteboeuf. A tiny part of the vineyard in the plain, the production of which does not go into Laroque’s First Wine, is made up of brown soils derived from the erosion of limestone outcrops.