Vinography Images: Breakthrough Vineyard

We writers never miss the opportunity for a good double-entendre. Antoine Cristal established his wine estate in the Saumur region of the Loire Valley in 1890. A successful textile entrepreneur in his day, Cristal returned to his home province in his later years and formulated an ambition to raise the profile of the region’s red wines. The 10-hectare enclosed vineyard he created is unlike any other that I have seen in the world. Within the four walls of the vineyard, Cristal built 3 kilometers of limestone walls, placing holes in the wall through which he trained grapevines. Carefully aligned with the ecliptic, these walls were designed to capture sun on the leafy side of the vine and throw shade on the base of the vine. The whiteness of the limestone reflects solar radiation back on the fruit zone, making this vineyard ripen historically 3-4 weeks earlier than every other vineyard in Saumur, while the cool foot of the vine retains moisture thanks to its shadier, cooler environment. On his death, Cristal donated the vineyard to the local hospital that maintains it to this day.

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Source : https://www.vinography.com/2024/06/vinography-images-breakthrough-vineyard