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The Gruaud Larose terroir is truly remarkable and unique. It is a single vineyard of 80 hectares with gravels from the Gironde estuary, dating from the Mindel Ist and Mindel IInd (about 700 000 years ago), and that in some places are over 18 feet deep. The soil is very poor and sandy, and therefore does not hold water. Drainage is one of the major concerns of a conscientious vine-grower.
It is also an important factor at Gruaud Larose where nineteenth-century underground pottery drains have been found. The natural draining system due to the poor quality of soils, from the hot and dry summers, and mostly from their position on the highest plateau of Saint-Julien - 18 metres high from the sea level -, constantly exposed to the north and west winds, favour both soil and optimum maturity for grapes. In fact, Nature has given here a magical aspect to this unique estate vineyard.
The legendary 1900 ! The century began with an extraordinary harvest both in terms of quantity and quality. 1900 is firstly a record volume of wine, which was equalled only in 1982 ! There had been several bumper years previously, in 1896 and 1893. 1900 though, was legendary for its quality ! Despite the huge volume, this wine was of a power and concentration that have rarely been matched. This vintage aroused immediate excitement and eclipsed the fantastic 1899 by Château Margaux:
A wonderful year, which benefited from a very hot summer as well as very fine weather during the harvest. (Picking began 24th September)