Urgonian Period from -127 to 125 million years:
formation of the Urgonian limestone mountain ranges, like the limestones
sector of Châteauneuf du Pape.
110 million years ago: end of the secondary era, Cretaceous Period:
the area is covered with a warm sea. In this sea, an immense coral
barrier reef shapes the future vestiges that are now the limestone
hills in the Tavel and Lirac area. These geological periods are
called Barremian and Aptian of the late Cretaceous period. The famous
Tavel stone is extracted from these hard limestone veins, in which
one often finds shells fossils like ammonites.
100 million years ago: emergence of flora on earth.
40 - 30 million years ago : movements of the earth's crust create
the old relief in our area, and the sea withdraws in a fifteen million
year period. These times correspond to the end of the dinosaur reign
15 million years: Miocene times, the sea returns and once again
covers are whole area. Its deposits the many sands and clays which
today constitute the main soil material in Châteauneuf du
Pape, Lirac and Tavel.
Emergence of mammals on Earth
8 - 6 million years: the sea withdraws again, creating canyons in
our area. The sea withdraws beyond the Straits of Gibraltar and
the Mediterranean is crossable by foot on dry land.
million years: the sea returns, passing through the Straits of Gibraltar.
To visualize the phenomenon, you may imagine a Niagara waterfall
which would be 2800 meters high, and whose flow would approximately
correspond to 100 times that of the Amazon River!
3 - 2 million years geological period known as the Astian era.
1,9 - 1,8 million years geological period known as the Villafranchian
era: for 70 000 years, the formidably powerful and immense rivers
generated by the melting of alpine glaciers tear off pieces of rock
on their course, rolling them down several hundreds of kilometers,
polish them into the typical rolled pebbles we find finds on the
surfacesof Tavel, Lirac and Châteauneuf du Pape lands.
1,75 million years ago, Quaternary period
10 000 years before our times, erosion and the hand of man shaped
sea landscapes into what our area still looks like today.