Terroirs and climate

The terroir and the Ardèche climate are conducive to Ardèche wines!

The terroir is the combination of all the natural factors which influence the typicality of the wine. Soil, climate and topography are the main components.

These three factors are linked and their influence in the final expression of a wine changes depending on the sites and vintages.

The vast limestone plateau within which the Gorges de l'Ardèche are dug forms the resistant framework on which the wine-growing hillsides rest.

The influence of the Rhône and the Ardèche marks the topography of the place through erosion and the presence of very stony alluvium at certain times (moraines from ancient glaciers).

A 2001 study of the natural environment enriched our knowledge:

The information collected made it possible to list “lots” of homogeneous terroirs to measure the impact of the terroir-grape variety association on the wines.

So Grenache:

- On loess soil, gives a wine with aromas of fresh fruits, red fruits with a light structure.

- On pebble terraces, its aromatic structure is more complex, the color more intense. The wines are powerful and fine.

- On marls, it produces a wine rich in aromas, very colorful, of the “wine for keeping” type.

These data are important in the plot selection system.

They are also involved in the choice of plant material (grape variety, rootstock) and in the management of the vines (soil maintenance, grass cover, etc.).

The climate is Mediterranean with a very irregular distribution of rainfall, a dry period from April to September preceded and followed by sudden precipitation. However, violent storms mainly occur from June to August.

The very present sun (more than 2,500 hours per year) and the Mistral, the dominant and sometimes violent north wind, favor hot and dry periods influencing production. They can cause severe drought, but generally have a positive effect on the maturity and health of the grapes and therefore the quality of the wines.