Lands & subsoils, climates, grape varieties in Lirac
and Domaine de la Mordoree for this appellation
Our Wines
Wine technical sheets
Maturity of our wines
A.O.C. lands, climate & vineyards vines at Domaine de la Mordorée
  • Our terroirs
Châteauneuf du Pape
Côtes du Rhône
Châteauneuf du Pape
There are three main subsoil types in Lirac :

- Terraced hillsides from the Villafranchian Period (1.9 - 1.8 million years old) with the vast plateau of Vallongue shared between Lirac and Tavel; the eastern slopes of this plateau in an area called Bois de Clary, the plateau of Saint Geniès de Comolas south of the village and the plateau of Les Baumes to the south-east of the village of Saint Laurent des Arbres.
Pebble filled terraces are particularly adapted to wine growing, producing deep and complex wines.

- The soft slopes and lime rubble hillsides, to the south of the cliffs in Saint Génies, are constituted of both Villafranchian round pebbles and limestone fallen rocks from the older Urgonian Period (127 to 125 million years old) on a substrate of sand and clay from the Astian period (3 to 2 million years old).

- Astian sands in the subsoil of Saint Laurent and Lirac.

A point of interest: the Rhône, before its current riverbed, around 2 million years ago, followed another course which rushed towards Nîmes from what is now the village of Saint Geniès de Comolas, and poured into the sea around Montpellier. Substantial traces of this former bed are quite visible today, like the Villafranchian round pebbled terraces of Saint Genies de Comolas, Saint Laurent des Arbres, Lirac, Tavel, and further south, Domazan.


The climate of Lirac is shared by all the lands of Lirac, Saint Laurent des Arbres, Saint Génies de Comolas and Roquemaure. It is a Mediterrannean climate with strong Mistral wind which both cleans and moderates temperatures, summers and winters alike.

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 Lirac are :

- Red varieties : Black Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Carignan at 10% max.
- White varieties : white or grey Grenache, white, grey and pink Clairette, Bourboulenc, Marsanne, Viognier, Picpoul, white Ugni.

The Lirac appellation lands of Domaine de la Mordorée are mainly located :
on the plateau of Lirac and Tavel, Les Baumes, as well as on the rather original parcel called Les Chataîgniers (chestnut trees) due to the presence of this species, a unique phenomenon for miles around.

The area benefits from a rather cool microclimate, its soils are rich in red silica as well as red sandstone, which is extremely rare in this region. The grape varieties of these lands produce deep and fresh wines.

The grape varieties planted in the Domaine are :
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre for reds ; and white Grenache, Viognier, Roussane, Marsanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Picpoul for whites.

Plot of more than 10 hectares AOC Lirac called Lirac & Tavel Plateau or La Plaine

30 cm subsoil cross-section

These are classic terraces from the Villafranchian period, with a lot of large pebbles.

This parcel is planted with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache for black grapes ; and white Grenache, Viognier, Roussane, Marsanne, Picpoul, white Clairette and Bourboulenc for whites. The vines are about 15 years old, average; the grapes are used to make red “Reine des Bois” and white “Reine des Bois”.

This parcel is quite dry and can only withstand small yields.

The wines produced are deep, both powerful and round.

Plot of AOC Lirac in an area called Les Baumes

30 cm subsoil cross-section

This is an old Grenache vineyard near Saint Laurent des Arbres, on a terrace from the Villafranchian period, whose compostion is remarkable: pebbles are rather small and the soil is rich in stable humus.
The vegetation seen on the pictures is natural, proving the good health of our best Lirac parcel. For that reason, its grapes constitute a substantial contribution to our Reine des Bois vintages.

2006 will be a year of major investment : the whole vine traing will be renovated.

This parcel produces very fine and delicate wines, particularly suitable for ageing.

Plot in AOC Lirac in an area called « les Châtaigniers » or « La Montagne »

30 cm subsoil cross-section

This is a unique plot of land in Lirac, with chestnut trees, a few specimens of which survived. These trees were planted by inhabitants of Lirac whence fleeing XVIth century wars of religion.

These are the only chestnut trees to be found within a 20 mile radius.

This parcel was planted with black Grenache and Mourvèdre in 1990. It is surrounded with woods and the climate is rather cooler than other places. Maturity comes late, generally at a time where wine harvests are over elsewhere.

The wines produced have rich aromas, and are elegant and quite fresh. They are essential for our Reine des Bois cuvees.


Lands & subsoils, climates, grape varieties in Tavel
and Domaine de la Mordoree for this appellation

There are three main soil types in the lands of Tavel :... (more)

Top of page