Cos d’Estournel was named for the ancient Gascon word cos, or “hill of pebbles.” Indeed, cultivating wine on these gravel and clay soils in a place swept by the winds of the Gironde Estuary might prove a difficult undertaking were it not for the nearby Atlantic Ocean and its tempering effect on the extreme conditions the estate experiences from one season to the next . . .
The determination of the men and women of Cos and their relentlessness in coaxing out the best of a seemingly difficult environment have always been primordial. To believe that it was pure coincidence that brought Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel to choose these lands would be to repudiate his faith in science and his brilliant intuition that an intimate knowledge of the geology, fauna, and flora of each plot—and even each row of vines—would lead to exceptional results.
Since that moment, the estate’s teams have remained deeply committed to respecting nature and the vineyard’s environment. Beyond its cherished vines lie streams, forests, gardens, hedges, and pastures that contribute to a most precious equilibrium. Its excellent location along the shores of the Gironde Estuary and the Natura 2000 marshlands of the northern Médoc are among the characteristics that make the estate’s terroir truly outstanding.
Natura 2000 is a network of sites where rare and threatened species and their habitats are protected by human activity working for rather than against them, and Cos d’Estournel became part of the network upon issuing grazing rights to 25 hectares of its prairies to a local breeder for his cows to graze. Nothing is spared in growing and caring for the vines in the most natural fashion possible to respect the estate’s ecosystem as a whole.