Producer Article

Château Caronne Ste. Gemme

Last edited on 10/27/2014 by kampa
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Producer Website - Read more about Chateau Caronne Ste. Gemme

The vineyard was first reported in 1648 when a local landlord, Denis de Mullet of La Tour StLambert rented it to a farmer in exchange for the wines produced.

Caronne is derived from "Carona" the name of a local spring source, and Gemme a corruption of "James".
In the middle-ages the locality was a parish on the grounds of a subsidiary to the Templar Headquaters at nearby Benon a few kilometers inland. Pilgrims on their way to Saint Jacques de Compostelle, having crossed the estuary from Blaye, would rest here before continuing their way across the Landes to the Spanish Border.

The Parish was abolished during the Revolution and it is about this time that the first records of wine production at Caronne appear.

In 1900 ownership of Caronne passed to Emile and Eugène Borie. The sons of Eugène would later cede their shares to their uncle and purchase Ch. Batailley and later Ducru-Beaucaillou while Emile's descendents would remain the sole owners of Caronne until this day.

The property is now managed by Jean, grandson of Emile and François, his nephew.

__Technical Notes__

Classification : Cru Bourgeois Supèrieur of Haut-Médoc in 1932 and Cru Bourgeois Exeptionnel in the 1966 contest.

Geographic Situation : In the St Laurent Médoc area and in the direct neighbourhood of the vineyards of Gruaud Larose, Lagrange, Belgrave, Camensac and Lanessan.

The Vineyard is made up of 45 hectares (113 acres) of a single tenant, planted on a mound of first class gravel on a base of iron rich sandstone, a little more sandy to the east, a little more clayey to the west. The vine varieties are of 60% cabernet sauvignon, 3% petit verdot and 37% merlot.
The average age of the vines is 25 years old.
The density of planting is the traditional 10.000 vines per hectare.
Harvesting is 70% manual and 30% machine.

The wine making follows very much the pattern of the " Grand Cru " chateaux. The grapes are destalked, then slightly crushed and sent into fermentation vats which are either stainless steel or cement with an epoxy coating and allways thermo-regulated. Fermentation is lead at the temperature of 28/30° celsius with light " over the top " pumping for a soft extraction of the skins.
The maceration can last up to three weeks.

The ageing of 12 months is made exclusively in the 1.000 french barrels of 225 L., of which 25% are renewed each year.
The wine is fined with eggwhites and finally bottled at the vineyard 20 months after it is harvested.