The landscape of Gigondas is shaped by its unique geology. The wine-growing region is enclosed within the jagged ridges of the Dentelles de Montmirail (dentelle is the French word for ‘lace’ and ‘Montmirail’ comes from the Latin mons mirabilis, ‘extraordinary mountain’). Pushed out of the sea 200 million years ago and subsequently eroded into sharp spikes, the Dentelles de Montmirail reach a height of 730 m at their highest point and provide a dramatic backdrop to the area’s vineyards.
Thanks to the immense forces that pushed up the Dentelles de Montmirail – sharp limestone ridges that reach a height of 730 m – Gigondas has an impressive variety of substrata and terrain types. The feature they all share is the omnipresence of limestone. This is integrally linked to Gigondas wines, giving them their subtlety and freshness.
The turbulent geology of the Dentelles de Montmirail, which lie at the heart of the appellation, results in the varied orientation and sun exposure of its vineyards. The sharp ridges also create a microclimate with advantageous effects on Gigondas wines.