Lands & subsoils, climates, grape varieties in Chateauneuf du Pape
and Domaine de la Mordoree for this appellation
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There are three main subsoils in Châteauneuf du Pape :

- The plateau of La Crau, from the Villafranchian period (1.9 - 1.8 million years old) rich with round pebbles from the Rhône, and a notable layer of blue clay at 7 - 8 meter deep that plays an important role of humidity regulation in summer. This type of soil is particularly adapted to wind growing, and produces strongly characteristic wines, deep and complex.

- The top plateau in the area of Cabrières is made up of both Villafranchian round pebbles from the Rhône and loose limestone from the older Urgonian Period cliffs (127 to 125 million years old) alongside the western area.

Other parcels are smaller, but very interesting for wine growing such as :

- The medium-height terrace of La Nerthe, which contains a smaller amount of of Villafranchian pebbles.
- The lower Southern Terrace of Châteauneuf du Pape is from the Wurmian Period (75 000 years old) and is made up of round pebbles, loose lime stones with a mixture of very old and more recent alluvia.

Climate

The climate of such a widespread appellation as Châteauneuf du Pape, 3200 hectares and 5 communes, is necessarily quite varied. It leads to small variations in : temperature difference, millimeters of rainfall and wind strength. Though small, these variations are enough to consider that Châteauneuf-du-pape has several microclimates.

Generally speaking, sunlight averages over 3000 hours a year with average temperatures ranging from 22° Celsius in summer, and 7.3° in winter. Rain averages 201 mm in summer and 503 mm the rest of the year. The Mistral wind blows around 158 days per year, including 100 days when it can blow at 60 kph or more.

Grape variety

The grape varieties authorized in Châteauneuf du Pape are :

- Black varieties : Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Muscardin, Counoise, black Terret
- White varieties : white Grenache, Picardan, Roussane, Picpoul, Clairette, Bourboulence.

The Châteauneuf du Pape appellation lands of Domaine de la Mordorée are located at : La Crau, La Nerthe, Cabrières, Le Bois de la ville.
The grape varieties are : 70 % Grenache,10 % Mourvèdre, 5 % Cinsault, 5 % Counoise, 5 % Syrah, 5 % Vaccarese.

 

AOC Châteauneuf du Pape plot in « La Crau » plateau area

30 cm subsoil cross-section

Very old vines (80 years old average) on the plateau of La Crau, a terraced land from the Villafranchian period.

This area is remarkable for its subsoil as it contains a great amount of pebbles and a mixture of clayey sand : this layer is light and drains water down to a 7-8 meter deep layer of clay which retains humidity, preserving the vines in case of dry spells, such as was the case during the severe 2003 drought.

This land is perfect to produce outstanding red wines, both powerful and subtly fine.

These shots were taken in early July, before ripening. The soil has been worked to bury the grass that grows from spring to autumn.

 

The Côtes-du-Rhône plots of land at Domaine de la Mordoree

The great variety of our plots of land throughout the communes,... (more)

 
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