Of course, many components are taken into account in the definition of terroir. But here we will focus on the geological and soil characteristics of our vineyard.
The Dentelles de Montmirail, impressive limestone formations
What stands out first of all in this landscape are the magnificent limestone formations that dominate the village and the vineyard: the Dentelles de Montmirail. To understand its origin, we have to go back 250 million years, when the sea covered this area and the climate was arid.
During this period, known as the Triassic period, deposits mainly of gypsum and salt accumulated in the southeastern basin of France, where Gigondas is located. Then the following period, the Jurassic, will see the arrival of a tropical climate and the formation of an oceanic pit where calcareous and marly sediments will settle. These different layers of deposits will thus accumulate over many geological stages, with particularities that are specific to each of them.
There are 7.5 kilometres of sedimentary layers when, under the pressure of the formation of the Pyrenees and the Alps, the gypsum and salt layer of the Triassic will rise along the Nîmes Fault. It will carry with it a layer of Jurassic limestone that will come to be positioned vertically on the surface to form the blades that can be seen today (Figure 1). Other sedimentary layers will also be found at the surface, forming a complex geological puzzle in the territory of Gigondas.
Figure 1: Schematic representation of the formation of the Dentelles de Montmirail.
Source: Gigondas, its wines, its land, its people; Georges TRUC
Over the geological episodes that will follow until the modern period, the Lace will be carved by erosion, to arrive with the morphology that we know them now. New sedimentary layers will also come from the Alps, carried by rivers, and will fill the landscape with vast alluvial areas. The result is very particular geological terroirs that are specific to this appellation. Discover the geological section that describes them.
For our vineyard, this is reflected in the presence of blue Gargasian marls, a composition unique to Gigondas, and by the alternation of limestone and Cretaceous marls.
On the surface, this will give very different types of soil that will have a particular impact on our different vintages. This will be much better illustrated in video.
Watch the video on our terroirs of Gigondas:
To go further: if you wish to deepen your knowledge of the terroirs of Gigondas, do not hesitate to order online or buy at our cellar the book Gigondas, its wines, its soil, its people, a richly documented book on our beautiful appellation.