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After passing through the trees you will come across the site of our new plantations. It is now illegal to plant vines on a commercial scale without a permission which is becoming more and more difficult to obtain. However, in 1991 we were lucky enough to have been granted another 0.8 hectares and we have just bought 2 hectares of vin de pays grapes which we will be replanting here on the hill and on the ploughed area next to the house.
Only three grape varieties are allowed for appellation Contrôlée Cahors, Malbec, the main one, and Merlot and Tannat which must not exceed 30% of the total. There must be at least 4,000 vines planted per hectare. This works out at a planting distance of 1 meter with 2.5 meters between rows and we are limited to produce 5,000 liters per hectare. The more you produce, the lower the quality so the limit the quantity in order to keep the quality high. Planting takes place in June. The vines take 3 years to go into production and 4 years before they are mature enough to be accepted as appellation controllée. Vines continue indefinitely but production starts to fall after 40 years.
For Vin de Pays the rules are much less strict, and the grape varieties which you are allowed to plant more varied. Last year we carried out a soil test which revealed that our soil was very similar in age and analysis to that of Chablis so we are planting some Chardonnay here on the hill as well as Semillion.
The vines at EGLISE are our youngest in full production, the first ones having been planted in 1982 . Young vines tend to sprout earlier and are very susceptible to damage by late frosts.