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Bordeaux vineyard vandals destroy ‘historical treasure’

Vandals have destroyed a plot of rare Bordeaux vines intended for a €3,000 wine by cutting 500 vine plants down to the root.

Vineyard vandals attacked the vines last week. The vines were part of a 2.5 hectare plot near Landiras around 30km south of Bordeaux in the Graves area.

They were to be used for Liber Pater wine. They were of an unusual grape variety known as Castets, planted directly into the ground without rootstocks as in pre-phylloxera days. They have a density of 20,000 vines per hectare, far higher than the usual 6,000 to 8,000 typical of AOC Graves.

‘These vines were an historical treasure of Bordeaux,’ owner Loic Pasquet told Decanter.com. ‘Five years ago I planted several varietals that existed in Bordeaux 200 years ago including castets, mancin and pardotte.

‘The vines are certified organic, and I work with only horses and mules in the vineyard, in an attempt to recapture the tastes of 19th century Bordeaux, at the time of the 1855 classification. I don’t know if this is why I have been targeted, but it is a devastating loss.’

As these old varieties are not in the winemaking charter of the Graves, Pasquet sells the wines as Vin de France.

But the rarity, around 1,500 bottles per year, and unusual story means the wines can fetch up to €3,000 per bottle, sold almost entirely in Asia and Russia.

A police enquiry was underway to discover who may have carried out the vandalism, but so far there have been no arrests.


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