Discovering the Lussac Saint-Émilion appellation

In the world of wine, there are many appellations. There are nearly 400 awarded by the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO ex Institut National des Appellations d'Origine) distributed by wine-growing regions of which there are thirteen: Alsace, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Corsica, Jura, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, Savoie, South-West, Loire Valley and Rhône Valley.

As well-known as the name Saint-Emilion is, it is difficult to find your way among all the wine appellations that exist. Château La Rose Perrière is part of the Lussac Saint-Emilion appellation. The entire Lussac-Saint-Émilion vineyard has been protected by an appellation d'origine contrôlée since November 14, 1936. Also known as the "Saint-Emilion satellite", the Lussac-Saint-Émilion AOC is part of the Libourne region. Its wine-growing lands, located around fifty kilometers northeast of Bordeaux, are the most northerly of the Saint-Emilion appellations.

Vue de Saint-Emilion

To begin with, what is a wine appellation?

French wines are referred to as viticultural appellations. They make it possible to classify wines according to several criteria specific to a vineyard, both natural (climate, environment) and human (viticulture techniques). Their production and marketing are subject to French and European rights if winegrowers wish to benefit from the AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée), AOP (Appellation d'Origine Protégée created in 2009 for wines at European level) or IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) labels. The Ministry of Agriculture and the European Commission have thus approved specifications relating to wine production conditions and demarcated geographical areas. A control commission mandated by the INAO subjects AOC or IGP wine bottles to chemical and organoleptic analyzes before distribution to the consumer in order to guarantee the origin and nature of the wine purchased. For the consumer, it has to do with having the assurance that the wine maintains a strong link with the terroir from which it comes, a predominant notion for their attribution.


What is the Lussac-Saint-Emilion appellation?

The Lussac-Saint-Emilion appellation brings together wines produced on the right bank of Bordeaux in the wine-growing region of Libourne in the commune of Lussac. It is one of the four satellites of the Saint-Emilion AOC, the first exceptional wine-growing landscape listed as a World Heritage Site. Close to the famous medieval city of Saint-Émilion and its vineyard, the appellation is bordered to the south by Puisseguin-Saint-Émilion and Saint-Georges-Saint-Émilion and to the west by Montagne-Saint-Émilion. Its wine-growing lands are the most northerly of the Saint-Emilion appellations.

The Lussac-Saint-Émilion vineyard has been protected by an appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) since November 14, 1936 and by the European AOP label. There are many vineyards that share the Lussac-Saint-Emilion appellation area. What they all have in common is that they produce wines from a selection of grape varieties authorized by the appellation: Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Carmenère and Petit Verdot are also authorized, but cannot represent more than 10% of the composition of the wine. Merlot, emblematic of Bordeaux, is the dominant grape variety of the appellation (65%), it is this which will give the wine all its nobility. Particularly productive and early maturing, it has been widely exported beyond Bordeaux, throughout the world as in Italy or the United States. It is often associated with Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Sauvignon is less common on the cooler soils of the Saint Emilion region.

Only wines which were harvested in the territory of Lussac can claim the appellation. They must contain a minimum of 11% alcohol and come from vineyards planted at a density of less than 5,500 vines per hectare. Today, the annual production of the Lussac Saint-Emilion appellation is around 72,000 hectoliters for 170 winegrowers.


What types of soil in Lussac Saint-Émilion?

The establishment of the vineyard seems to date back from the Gallo-Roman era. The Lussac-Saint-Émilion vineyard is characterized by the variety of its landscapes and the diversity of its soils: clay-gravelly in the valleys, sandy-clayey on the plateaus, clay-limestone on the hillsides. The plots of the Lussac Saint-Emilion vineyard extend over nearly 1,450 hectares of soil. The hillside is clay-limestone to the South and clay-loam to the North. Here is a slightly oily land, dotted with more or less hard white stones.

Sol argilo-calcaire du vignoble de Lussac Saint-Emilion
Coupe du sol argilo-calcaire dans les vignes du Château La Rose Perriere

These soils are balanced because they mix clay and its freshness, which gives structure to the wine, with limestone with filtering properties which provides finesse. The presence of clay in the basement ensures freshness and sufficient water supply in summer and retains the necessary minerals. The Astéries limestone also allows the vines to be supplied with water. During periods of heavy rain, water seeps into the limestone. This will supply the vines during periods of drought by rising by capillary action. The soil and more particularly the subsoil on which the vines are grown influence three aspects of the wine: its aromas, its color and its taste properties. Thus, the clay-limestone soil of the appellation produces concentrated wines, with an interesting roundness and intact fruit.

The climate of the AOC

The AOC Lussac Saint-Emilion vineyards enjoy a temperate oceanic climate all year round. These wine terroirs range from valleys to plateaus, forming an amphitheater facing south and benefiting from moderate rainfall. Precipitation is well distributed throughout the year and summers are hot and dry due to the presence of two rivers, the Isle and the Dordogne. The region is slightly cooler than Saint-Emilion. What could historically have been a disadvantage because the grapes reached maturity later is now proving to be an advantage in a context of climate change. Indeed, freshness makes it possible to maintain balance and aromatic complexity in wines produced with a predominance of Merlot.


Did you know ?

AOC and AOP do not only concern wines but also protect other consumer products such as cheese, fruit, dairy products, vegetables, etc. Since January 1, 2012, products benefiting from both An AOC and an AOP must only display the latter designation. Wines are an exception to the rule and are the only products that can retain their AOC.


Our wines from the appellation

Bouteilles de Château La Rose Perriere 2017-2018-2019 et 2020 sur le comptoir du bar au Château La Rose Perriere

Discover the Lussac Saint-Emilion appellation and the richness of its terroir by tasting two red wines from our range. First of all, our signature wine, Château La Rose Perrière, made from a blend of 80% Merlot and the remainder of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The last two vintages also offer a touch of Malbec in their blend.

An emblematic wine of the vineyard, this wine comes from 8 hectares of plots located on the plateau of the property, with a very thin thickness of arable soil. The harvest from these plots is carried out by hand and manual selective sorting of the grapes is undertaken after destemming. Château La Rose Perrière is vinified in vats and 500 liter barrels renewed each year to ensure a subtle marriage of fruit and wood while preserving the plot selection. Aged between 12 and 14 months exclusively in 225 litre Sylvain oak barrels, 50% of which are new, it seduces with the fruit/tannin balance it offers as well as its fresh and juicy length. The 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 vintages are available today while patiently waiting for our first ORGANIC vintage which you will be able to discover in 2025.


Bouteille Château La Perrière 2020 sur un barrique d’élevage Sylvain de 225L


Our second wine, le Château La Perriere 2020, is made from harvests of the property's three grape varieties: Merlot at 90%, Cabernet-Franc at 5% and Cabernet Sauvignon at 5%. This wine is distinguished by its finesse both in the fruit and the substance and in its marriage with the wood.

Although more discreet on the international scene in terms of reputation, the Lussac-Saint-Emilion appellation is characterized by wines which, well typified by Merlot, develop beautiful aromas of red fruits and black fruits (blackcurrant) and present an aromatic palette of great complexity. Perfect with red or white meat, game or cheese!