Joy of Terroir 2011

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June - Chateau d'Yquem, Sauternes

The most famous sweet wine estate in the world is set on the highest hill in Sauternes, at the centre of the southern half of the appellation. Visible for miles around, it neighbours Châteaux Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Guiraud and Rieussec. The estate covers 188 hectares, with 113 under vine, planted to 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. At vintage time, the château’s workforce increases by 140 pickers to harvest at yields so low – sometimes less than 10 hl/ha – that, famously, it takes the fruit of a whole vine to produce just a single glass of the grand vin. The estate also makes a dry white, Y.