Volume 72: Macarthur family correspondence relating to wine, 1846-1900: No. 118
apart. It seems strange that such expense can be waranted by the results (which it undoubtedly is) and yet people who can well afford it grudge the outlay upon land perhaps of 5 to 10 times the value. The roads in the Medoc are excellent, I never saw any so good. The material abounds every where small quartz pebbles.
I have been spending two days with Mr. Bonchereau the proprietor of about 500 Hectares of land (1250 acres) all formed by himself with an old turretted Chateau for a residence called Chateau de Carbonnieux. This old Chateau formerly belonged to a Benedictine Convent and bears marks still, of having been used defensively previous to the times of Henri IV. It is a funny old place and its proprietor an original, an old bachelor, a great favorite amongst the people around here, with his house & menage much I suppose as they would have been in 1755. He gave me wine to drink 40 years old made on the spot & if not much the better for keeping, certainly none the worse. It was of 1815 (not sure some of that made here [indecipherable). I was thinking how vastly more I must have changed in the same time! This Carbonnieux is about 6 or 7 miles south of Bordeaux (the opposite side from the Medoc) and about 2½ miles from the Garonne. The soil varies very little generally from that of the Medoc in some places just as stoney & the pebbles the same, only with more ferruginous gritty clay intermingled & the [indecipherable] spots limestone however crops out & is seen in small fragments intermingled with the soil This tract where the limestone is, is very strong soil, but where the gritty pebbles are it is very light.
I should not probably have required this addition until towards the end of my stay in Europe and trust you have not straightened yourself to send me this remittance. Thank you for it. I cannot write more now for I am full of worry. God bless you all.