In Medio Acquae: the Romans’ choice of name for the Médoc region, located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde Estuary, was indeed fitting!
Once a marshland, the Médoc region was drained by Dutch specialists hired in 1599 by Henri IV to increase the amount of farmable land. To this day, some areas of marshland can still be found in the Médoc near Cos d’Estournel, like relics of the region’s history, and the evaporated water from these lands helps to temper extreme weather conditions.
The drainage works carried out in the seventeenth century revealed a terroir that had been shaped by the flow of water and was particularly rich and adapted to winegrowing. For thousands of years, the rivers that meandered through the Pyrenees slowly eroded the mountains, deposing gravel along their shores and shaping hills and valleys. These alluvial terraces of gravel and pebbles force the vines growing on them to draw upon their most valuable resources. When our ancestors called the terroir beneath their feet “Cos,” or “hill of pebbles,” in the old Gascon dialect, their choice of words was apt.