The vineyard

grenache on schists

The vineyard of Château Villerambert-Julien stretches over 76 hectares – 190 acres – gathered around a 16th Century castle called “Bastide”, including a main building flanked with 4 towers, a chapel of the same period, a yard with its tasting cellar, a “chais”, a vat house and the farming buildings.

  1. The Soil
  2. The Grape Varieties

The Soil

The size of the vineyard has developed continuously over the years since it covered 50 hectares in 1989 and covers 76 today. The added 26 hectares were acquired to improve the geographical unity of the estate but always with the same rigid philosophy of only acquiring land of similarly great quality.

This because it is the “Terroir” which creates the uniqueness and great individuality of Château Villerambert-Julien. There are no less than eleven different geological soil compositions and each one of these, allied to the meteorological conditions of the year, brings a specific and individual contribution to each year’s wine.

There are two principal ecosystems :

- The first, on the west side of the property, is made up of a panoply of chalky-clay, gravelly clay, or marl with water-retention properties, which are considerable even in very dry periods. This meets perfectly the requirements of the Syrah grape.
- The second, to the east, is made up of warm slate and of schist. This being much dryer meets the needs of the Grenache grape.
- To crown this rare duality of Château Villerambert-Julien has a third type of soil, which is unique in the whole world – Marble. Veins of pink marble surface on the north of the property. These have been broken up and have created a special soil, which is hardly to be found anywhere else in the world. In this soil, which is extremely mineral, only the Grenache can survive and gives a wonderfully concentrated wine.

Syrah on clay and chalk

The Grape Varieties

Because of the geographical situation – a relatively high altitude (246 meters) – and a position slightly to the west and set back from the tongue of warmth brought by the bed of the river Aude, the soil of Villerambert enjoys a freshness during the night which is greater than average and an annual total of thermal units lower than the surrounding countryside.

These two features lead to a specific strategy in the make-up of the varietal plantation. They also influence the behaviour of the wines in a region sometimes penalized by an excess of sunshine.

In fact both Syrah and Grenache, each in their own ecosystem, prove that they are perfectly adapted to their soil by producing wine of perfect maturity and splendid acidity. Even the Carignan has found its limitations here due to lack of maturity.

It has therefore been advantageously replaced by the Syrah and by white grape varieties such as Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier, which make the white wine of Château Villerambert-Julien totally untypical.

Up until now, the Mourvedre, a variety with extraordinary potential, is being experimented on the warmest slate soils of the property. To date results are most enouraging.

marble soil

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chinese version

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