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Graves vineyards threatened by TGV line

A high-speed rail link planned between Bordeaux, Toulouse and Spain is due to cut right through the vineyards of Graves, threatening up to 50 hectares of vines.

Ten chateaux are particularly affected by the proposed train route.

These include chateaux include Le Tuquet, Méjean and Saint-Jérôme in northern section of the Graves, and Château du Grand Bos, Château Haut Selve and Château de Castres in the southern section.

André Vincent of Chateau du Grand Bos told decanter.com, ‘the final route has not yet been decided, but we are right in the middle of the affected area, and it is very close to our main buildings and prime vineyard land.’

‘Wine has been made on this spot for 400 years, so this is not just vines, but rich history. We will continue to fight.’

Dominique Havelan, president of the Maison des Vins des Graves, said viticultural heritage was ‘being ignored in favour of infrastructure developments.’

‘The Graves vineyard is the oldest in Bordeaux. Graves has already been affected by the Toulouse motorway, and now is again threatened.

‘The wine tourism routes that we have recently opened are also seriously compromised by this.’

The train line is planned for Bordeaux-Toulouse, with a branch to Dax-Irun/Hendaye and down to Madrid.

The proposed line will be part of a larger Southwest Europe rail link joining Spain and Portugal with its northern European neighbours, to be completed by 2020.

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Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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