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Château Sociando - Situation géographique Château Sociando - Carte Cassini

The Vineyard and its terroir

Sociando-Mallet has throned on the Butte de Baleyron, one of the finest gravelly terroirs in the Médoc, since the 17th century. Situated in the commune of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne, north of Pauillac, the vineyard overlooks the Gironde estuary on a bend in the river.

Sociando-Mallet's terroir consists of Günz gravel over a deep layer of clay-limestone soil. This terroir perfectly regulates water supply and enables Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen extremely well and Merlot to acquire depth and complexity. This terroir is Sociando's soul. It provides the wine with complex structure, freshness, and elegance.

Primarily located east of the village of Saint-Seurin, the property stretches over a total of 120 hectares, of which 83 are under vine. The vines grow on the superb Baleyron gravelly hillock around the house and winery buildings. Sun exposure is optimum and breezes off the estuary keep the vines well aired and healthy. The huge mass of water in the estuary and nearby ocean accounts for a temperate microclimate without wild swings in temperature.

Grape varieties consist of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 54% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc. The vines are an average 35 years old.

The average vine density is 8,333 vines per hectare. This corresponds to 1 metre between vine rows and a distance of 1.2 metres between plants within a row. This high density increases the surface of the leaf canopy and creates a competition between vines, conducive to the production of grapes with a high content of tannin, sugar, colour and aromas.

A year in the vineyard


Soil maintenance

Sociando-Mallet - L'e vignoble, de décembre à mars'hiver

The soil is worked traditionally with earthing up and unearthing the vines. These operations aerate the topsoil. They take place in winter and summer with regular raking between vine rows.

They take place in winter and summer with regular raking between vine rows.

From December to March


Sociando-Mallet - Le vignoble, de décembre à mars

The vines are pruned from December to March. As in most Médoc vineyards, the traditional Double Guyot method is used, leaving only 6-8 buds per vine to limit the yield.

The vines are attached to stakes and the branches are bent and tied around guide wires.

Dead vines are individually uprooted and young vines replanted in their place. Any damaged stakes and wires are also replaced at this time.

In spring

Sucker removal

Sociando-Mallet - Le vignoble, au printemps

When the vines start to grow in early spring, the vine workers remove undesirable or non-fruit-bearing shoots that grow on the trunk and on the branches. This process, called Epamprage in French, is done by hand.


Lifting, trimming, and topping ...

Sociando-Mallet - Le vignoblependant l'été

The vines are lifted and guided between the wires to steer growth. The foliage is trimmed on the top and the sides every two weeks.
Spraying of protective treatments against disease or pests is kept to a strict minimum whilst preserving the quality of the crop.

We never do de-leafing at Sociando-Mallet. We feel that the vine needs a large foliar surface to produce enough sugar in the grapes, and also to protect the bunches from the sun's rays.

Green harvesting is not done either, out of respect for Nature's gift and the fruit of the winegrowers' work.Yields are regulated exclusively by winter pruning.

The harvest

3 weeks ...

Sociando-Mallet - Les vendanges - 1

The grape harvest lasts about 3 weeks. The order of picking depends on the grape variety, the age of the vines, and the specific plot.

The harvest

Manual ...

Sociando-Mallet - Les vendanges - 2

The entire vineyard is harvested by hand into small crates by a team of 120 pickers. The bunches arrive at the cellar in perfect condition.


Meticulous sorting

Sociando-Mallet - jusqu'aux chais

Once brought to the cellar, the bunches are sorted by hand on a conveyor belt to eliminate matter other than grapes as well as any imperfect fruit. The grapes are then de-stemmed, gently crushed, and sent into the vats, making sure not to mix grape varieties or grapes from different plots.


A great wine

Sociando-Mallet - pour l'élaboration

This plot-by-plot selection means that each vat can be vinified in optimum conditions with a tailor-made process. Grapes from young vines or grown on a shallow layer of gravel produce La Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet, the estate's second wine. Grapes from the finest terroirs produce the grand vin, and grapes from some other plots must wait until the first tastings to know which cuvée they will go into.


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