The terroirs of Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape : a mosaic of soils

Contrary to popular belief, the terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is not exclusively made of big orange pebbles! There is a wide variety of soils: red clays, limestone pebbles, sandstone sands of marine origin or deeper loams from the banks of the Rhone. Each type of soil produces grapes with different characteristics, thus contributing to the extraordinary complexity of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines.


The soils of Domaine Duseigneur in Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Round pebbles

These are very hard metamorphic granite rocks of alpine origin called Quartzite (chiefly composed of silica). Their round and polished shape reveals the influence of the Rhone’s waters throughout the ages.

In Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the pebbles are merged with red clays rich in iron oxide. This quartzite/clay combination is exceptionally rare in geology. It allows the vine to benefit from the water and mineral elements reserves that are returned to the roots.

The wines produced on these soils are rich and opulent with ripe fruit aromas and powerful tannins.


Limestone soils

Limestone sediments of marine origin have been broken up by erosion. They sometimes come out to the surface and give the soils a dazzling white look.

The stones are shaped like flat slabs with sharp, salient edges. Fine sands and clays can be found under these slabs, but less in pebbly soils.

The wines from this soil are fresher and more tense. They contribute to the acidity / tannin / alcohol balance that is essential for the full expression of the aromatic spectrum of great wines.


Sandstone soils (Safres)

Also of marine origin (late Tertiary period), Safres is a friable rock composed of fine sandstone transformed into deep sand by erosion.

The wines produced on these soils are very elegant and characterized by fine and silky tannins.


The Lirac/Laudun Terroir

A "little" Châteauneuf on the right bank

Our famous rounded pebbles can be found on the right bank in the Gardoise Rhône Valley on very similar soils in appearance to those of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Our guardoises plots are planted on slopes facing North between the communes of Saint Laurent des Arbres and Saint Victor la Coste.