My two big passions in life wine and horseracing (apart from my wife and children) are entwined, when in 2009 Libourne horseracing track stopped staging their 3 or 4 race meetings a year.
The Libourne Horseracing Society, led by Stephane d'Arfeuille made the historic decision to sell off the land for vineyards rather than for property development.
An interesting financial decision, as they could probably have got more money for property. The price per hectare for Pomerol vines is c £180-200,000.
When I visit Chateau Haut brion and Chateau La Mission Haut Brion in Pessac it really highlights the urban development in and around Bordeaux. These historic estates are now engulfed in the suburbs of Bordeaux. They have the University, Hospital and houses edging up to the vines. The obnly consolation is that the micro climate is supposed to be 1 degree warmer due to the city warmth.
Anyway back to Libourne race track....the area of land has been sold off to 6 different existing Chateaux. They have extended their holdings and it has increased the total Pomerol surface area to 793 hectares.
It will be interesting to taste the wines from this new part of the Pomerol appelation. I presume many years ago there were specific reasons for having a horse racing track on this land.
Maybe the vines will flourish due to the extra nutrients provided by the horses!!
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