In this article, we delve into a technical facet of viticulture. Specifically, we, at Château Paloumey, have recently planted a new vineyard with Petit Verdot. Why Petit Verdot and what are the attributes of this grape variety?
The plot in question was previously home to 35-40-year-old Merlot vines. After thorough consideration regarding the restructuring of this plot, we decided to introduce a different grape variety called Petit Verdot.
Characteristics of Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot is a grape variety that holds a prominent place in the Médoc region. It is traditionally used in modest quantities to give structure to blends. Château Paloumey has a rich experience with this historic variety through Château La Bessane and Château La Garricq. The berries of Petit Verdot are relatively small with a thick skin, which renders them resilient to rot and diseases. However, Petit Verdot is a late-ripening variety and in certain cooler vintages, it may not fully ripen.
One of the compelling reasons for opting for Petit Verdot is its adaptability potential in the face of climate change. With its later ripening nature, it is better suited to the higher temperatures and extended growing seasons that are regrettably anticipated with climate change.
As Château Paloumey has committed to organic farming, disease resistance is a critical criterion. Petit Verdot exhibits commendable resistance, in part due to the density of its skins. This proves advantageous in the management of foliage and cluster diseases.
Experimentation and Clonal Selection
Within our vineyard plot, we have conducted an experiment by planting three varieties of Petit Verdot, one of which is a mass selection originating from a neighboring vintner in the Médoc. Additionally, we are evaluating different rootstocks for each Petit Verdot clone, as rootstock selection is pivotal for adaptation to soil and climate conditions.
The incorporation of Petit Verdot into Château Paloumey’s vineyard is a calculated measure to ensure long-term sustainability and adaptability. We plan to closely monitor the development of this plot and share our observations with you. Stay tuned for updates on the growth of our Petit Verdot!