By Lisa Rowlands

Like all of the Saint-Émilion appellations, Puisseguin is a visually enticing village; rugged, rolling hills and ordered vine parcels present a beautiful patchwork landscape which is illuminated by the intense summer sunshine that the area receives. Typically, the Bordeaux climate of long, warm summers and mild winters, affords the grapes ample time and consummate conditions to reach optimal ripeness, although occasionally spring frosts can pose a risk to the vines.

Non-surprisingly, the vineyards of Puisseguin-Saint-Émilion AOC are dominated by the Merlot variety which here accounts for four fifths of the seven-hundred-and-thirty hectares under vine. Cabernet Franc is the undisputed second grape, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Appellation laws - laid out on its formation in 1936 - permit the use of two other grapes - Carménère and Petit Verdot - but these are rarely planted in modern Puisseguin vineyards.

To complete the favourable terroir here, soils are fairly homogenous across the appellation’s bounds, with clay and limestone dominating, and a few small areas of alluvial gravel. The permeable limestone base layer affords the vines reliable water supply even in drier vintages.