The quality and variety of the soils found on the estate are a key asset, particularly as they have been well looked after in the past.
They were, and still are, cultivated in the traditional way (ploughing and addition of organic matter). This means that they still contain a great deal of life (plenty of micro-organisms and worms), which leads to good root growth, improved nutrient supply for the vine and therefore a superb expression of "terroir".
The soils on the estate can be divided into four major groups:
These very ancient soils come from clay sediments that were once compressed on the sea bed (300 to 600 million years ago). Placed under huge pressure at high temperatures, they eventually became schist and reached the earth's surface at the end of the Primary era (125 million years ago). Schist is a soft, foliated rock that breaks up easily, allowing the vines to spread their roots and providing excellent drainage. These soils help the grapes to achieve a good level of ripeness. On the estate they are currently planted with Grenache and Syrah.
Limestone comes from the sea or lakes. The Languedoc was covered by sea for over 100 million years during the Secondary era, leaving thick layers of limestone formed from shells and coral. From these layers came the various types of clayey-limestone soils.
There are three main types on the estate, which vary according to geographical location:
- Limestone plateau and scree
There is some phonolitic limestone on the estate, which is formed by splinters of limestone deposited on the soil surface. These light-coloured "lauses" accumulate the heat, reflecting it upwards and creating a microclimate around the grapes, bringing them to an excellent level of ripeness.
On the estate these soils are planted with Carignan.
- Glacis and outwash slopes
The "gresette" soils are formed by small, angular splinters of limestone that have been carried by glaciers and rivers and accumulated at the edge of the limestone plateau.
These deep soils are very poor and porous, giving the vines a regular supply of water. The roots penetrate easily and the vines produce high-quality grapes that reach peak ripeness, even in very dry conditions.
On the estate they are planted with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Carignan.
These soils are formed from a high proportion of red clay combined with limestone and sandstone pebbles. They hold water superbly, but also drain well. They are high in quality and rare.
On the estate they are planted with Syrah, Mourvdre and Carignan.