Paroles de vignerons - Vinparleur - Winzer talk

The terroir of Gigondas

11 October 2010, by Domaine Santa Duc

All the vineyards of this cru des Côtes du Rhône belong to the community of Gigondas, Vaucluse. Mainly red wines are being produced on a total area of about 1200 hectares, although there is a small production of rosé.

All the vineyards of this cru des Côtes du Rhône belong to the community of Gigondas, Vaucluse. Mainly red wines are being produced on a total area of about 1200 hectares, although there is a small production of rosé. The soils around Gigondas show a great variety. Alluvial deposits of the Mindel glacial stage prevail. In addition sandy to argillaceous soils are extending to the massif of the Dentelles du Montmirail. Both soil types are highly permeable, which inhibits erosion and clogging of the vineyards by rainwater. The slopes are mainly covered with marly or calcareous soils frequently capped by thick conglomerates. Their pebbly beds are also favourable for drainage of rainwater and are resistant to erosion.
Moreover the soils and rocks are being warmed up at daytime by solar irradiation and discharge their temperature at night, which enhances plant growth and accelerates the ripening of grapes.

Gigondas has a typical Mediterranean climate - hot and dry. In addition there is the Mistral, a dry wind from the north with the effect of more than 2800 hours of sunshine per year at Gigondas.

The vineyards also take advantage from the geological “mess” of the Dentelles, with their topographic variability and an interesting microclimate.

Undoubtedly, Grenache is the king of grapes at Gigondas, with support by Syrah and Mourvèdre as well as by traditional grapes as Cinsault, Terret or Counoise. This grape dominates in the southern Rhone Valley and acquires a very specific character in the vineyards of Gigondas, combining harmoniously power and freshness with complexity and finesse.

Based upon more than thousand years of tradition in cultivating wine, Gigondas has achieved the level of Cru des Côtes du Rhône in 1971.



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