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Climate & Geology

THE CLIMATE

The river and the mountains provide a refreshing influence during the long, hot and dry summers, which turn into mellow and mild autumns. The vineyards are also cooled year-round by the fierce northerly Transmontagne wind and occasional heavy rains brought by the humid Marin wind from the Mediterranean during the short but sometimes sharp winters.

THE GEOLOGY

The stony and acidic soils of these hillsides were formed by enormous geological events going back as far as the Cambrian period over 500 million years ago resulting in the metamorphosis of sedimentary clay rock into thick veins of schist. Over time this has eroded, leaving fractured soils at the surface, with a patchwork of clays and even marls, gneiss, quartz and calcareous dolomite beneath. This geological complexity provides soils at once deep, porous, free-draining, well-aerated and, critically in area prone to low rainfall, just sufficiently water retentive for the deep-rooted vines to persist. The schist across the estate varies quite dramatically from dark grey, almost slate-like, in some plots to browner shales, sandstone and old quartz in others.