Surroundings

vines and hills 2

 

A magnificent Schist Terroir

Our garden is in the commune of Faugères, a well known wine appellation. Prior to its life as a garden it was a vineyard of Grenache vines grown on schist.

Schist_detail

The Faugères schists are the outcome of many geological movements, some of which date from the primary era.

Clay and sand deposits accumulated for millions of years at the bottom of a sea, at the edge of which a mountain range was being formed. Compressed and exposed to extreme temperatures, these deposits created the schists, formed into thin layers (these thin layers are what define schist).

Later, the upthrust of the Alps and the Pyrenees rearranged the schist layers, lifting them to form a ledge which dominates the plain.The Faugères appellation terroir is today homogeneous and unique in the Languedoc region: with their colours of yellow, ochre, orange and, at deeper levels, splendid blue, these soils are known for their capacity to drain water and allow the vines to resist the extreme heat of summer, typical of the Mediterranean climate. Deep down, the cracks in the bedrock allow the roots to search out the moisture they need.

This remarkable and protected landscape, composed of ridges rising to 400m and scored by small valleys, is very favourable for the implantation of quality vines, but not so easy for gardens!