The majority of our vines are situated in the area of Banyuls known as “Les Escoumes” on terraces with a bedrock formed by ancient Cambrian shale.
We have chosen vineyards which face north, as we believe they make a good investment with respect to climate change. Water is (relatively) abundant, the winters are cold, and the effects of the mountains often blocking the sun give opportunities for the grapes to mature slowly, which gives us greater scope in our winemaking.
Our soils are quite rich by Banyuls standards, although acidic, with many being without chemical weed killers for 5 years. With regular brushcutting we are making quite a nice active little layer of humus, and the soils are beginning to live once more.
We have experimented with subterranean clover as a cover crop, but have decided to work with the natural grasses here, as they are autochthonous, die in summer, aren’t too long, and out-compete the invasive weeds which can so easily colonise the terraces if you let your guard down.
We are well protected from the tramontane (the famous freezing winter wind which comes down from the Pyrenees with speeds of up to 120km/h), but still benefit from a not too humid coastal microclimate.
As for grape varieties, we have 70% grenache noir, with the other 30% being composed of grenache gris, grenache blanc, carignan, and carignan blanc.
In one sentence – It’s a paradise for high quality wine production.