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Chateau Franc-Cardinal BordeauxFrancs Côtes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France

Our Vines

Château Franc-Cardinal, today covers about 10 ha divided into 3 distinct plots about 2 km distant from each other. Despite their soils looking similar superficially, they are in fact very different, which contributes to the complexity of the wines when assembled. This fact, in some cases, can help to protect the crop from climatic accidents. The vines are planted on well exposed and well drained slopes which are particularly suited to Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The first gives a characteristic roundness in the mouth and the second brings aromatic finesse and elegance whereas a touch of Malbec completes the blend with colour and richness. 

In order to obtain fine wines expressing the local soil which is also just as fine, our vines are cultivated as naturally as possible: truly organic with no herbicides; no pesticides; manual leaf thinning and natural soil treatment.

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The Local Soil

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.

Sophie and Philip Holzberg

Sophie and Philip Holzberg

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.