Most of Château Latour's vines are planted on gravelly hilltops that stand 12 to 16 metres above the Gironde estuary. The fortunate combination of the Gironde, layers of gravel on the surface and clay subsoil gives Château Latour's terroir advantages that few other vineyards can claim.>
This exceptional heritage is a constant inspiration and an incentive for us to do everything that we can to capture all of its magic and complexity. The terroir of the Enclos is made up of three main pedological families: • Clayey gravel This was deposited more than three million years ago on a subsoil of marly sediment. Originally from the Pyrenees and the Massif Central, its proportion ranges from 50 to 80% depending on the altitude of the plots. These highly permeable layers of gravel allow water to reach the clay-marl layers below. • Gravelly sand More recent (100,000 years), this is markedly present on the eastern and western slopes of the Enclos. The gravel is of a smaller size and occurs in lower proportions. • Marly clay This is mainly found in the northern section of the vineyard, but is also present to some extent to the south, near the stream (the "Juillac"). These areas make up the terroir that is best suited to the Merlot grape. The geological characteristics of the soil result in the vines, especially the older ones, developing particularly deep root systems (up to three metres). The presence of lower layers of marly clay that capture water in the subsoil ultimately provide the vines with a bare minimum of water, enabling them to remain "active" even in years of drought and severe water stress, such as 2003, and for optimum ripening to be achieved. Furthermore, all of the vines in the Enclos have been drained since the 19th century, enabling any water that could compromise the quality of the grapes as the harvest approaches to be quickly removed.