Two large bodies of water, the Dordogne and the Garonne, meet near the city of Bordeaux to continue flowing as the Gironde toward the Atlantic Ocean. Right at the point where the two rivers meet, on the northern bank, is the Côtes de Bourg, named after the town of Bourg sur Gironde some 30 km northwest of the city of Bordeaux.
The rivers here not only regulate temperature; it is estimated that the huge volume of water accounts for 1 to 2 degrees of temperature control. The reflection on the water (and that of the nearby Atlantic Ocean) is also important, as it gives Bourg about 10% more sunlight. It is also drier than average, as there is considerably less rainfall than in other parts of Bordeaux.
The vineyards (28 hectares) of winemaker and oenologist Pierre-Henri Cosyns date back to 1841, the year of its founding. The handsome property also dates from that period. It was built using locally available limestone. As early as 1908, the Bordeaux guide of guides, de Féret (later Cocks et Féret, Bordeaux et ses Vins) praised the wines of this Château as among the best in the entire appellation. In 1970, his father bought the entire property. Coming from Argentina, where he took classes with Don Bosco in Mendoza. This explains his love for Malbec. Father studied oenology in Reims and later Bordeaux. To gain international wine experience, he also worked for years at one of the Bordeaux trading houses. When he saw Grand-Launay, he was immediately sold. Launay means as much as l'eau (water). It is moister there than elsewhere and great care must be taken with each vineyard to ensure adequate drainage. Under his leadership, the chateau grew from 10 to 25 hectares. Not long before his death, he called in his son Pierre-Henri. The three other children, daughters, had no interest in the business. Son Pierre Henri worked in Paris as a technician. He agreed and provisionally worked at the chateau for 1 year, then never left. In 2005, he obtained his degree as an oenologist. Father passed away in 2008. In 2009, there was massive hail damage. With the clear brain of a techie, he figured out that losing 50% of the harvest is just as big a risk, as losing 50% due to the switch to organic techniques. He immediately began working according to Ecocert guidelines. By now, all of Grand-Launay's vineyards are biodynamic and Demeter certified. He is also active with wines without added sulfite.
Pierre-Henri harvests partly manually, but also has parcels harvested by machine. 'Best of two worlds' is what it's called. On the clay/lime soil, he grows only one white grape, sauvignon-gris, of which he owns 1 hectare. For the reds, merlot (70%) draws malbec (15%) and both cabernets (15%).