We are often asked the question: why did we choose Caux and why this vineyard? The answer is the exceptional "terroir" - the soil here has large quantities of volcanic basalt which is very unusual for the Languedoc.

Our entire vineyard is classified as AOC Côteaux du Languedoc.

In Caux, we have a plot of 4.7 hectares of vines on the coteaux (hillside slopes) at 120m above sea-level and east facing.

The soil comprises Villafranchien gravel, loam and volcanic basalt. The large quantity of basalt - which is found in sizes ranging from small boulders to pebbles - adds freshness and good acid balance to the wines. The vineyard is surrounded by trees and vegetation which help to ensure a healthy, balanced eco-system in the vineyard.

We have a small parcel of old carignan blanc planted on limestone, which provides a wine with freshness and minerality.

In St Jean de Bebian, three km from Pezenas, we have a further 1.4hectares on a different soil altogether. It dates from the Villafranchien epoch with "galets roulets" (rounded pebbles) which are also found at Chateau Neuf de Pape in the Rhone valley. Here we have approximately half a hectare of old carignan and newly planted vermentino and grenache gris.

In 2007, we planted 0.6Ha of grenache at Caux and in 2008 we planted 1.0Ha of syrah. The new vines have all been planted at the high density of 6250 vines/Ha. This encourages the vine roots to go deeper due to competition between the vines and encourages less, but more intensely flavoured, fruit per vine.

Photos of the vineyard can be viewed in our
photo gallery.

© 2011 Mas Gabriel organic French wine, Languedoc, south of France