Gigondas has many soil types. Expansive alluvial terraces from the Mindel Glacial Stage with sandy-clay soils stretch up to the foothills of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Their high permeability reduces the impact of erosion from running water and allows ground soil to dry out rapidly.
On slopes and hillsides, terraced vineyards grow in limestone-marl soils and present a verdant landscape for walkers. For winegrowers, the soil and surface rocks complement each other, allowing rainwater to penetrate into the ground. These soil conditions also permit solar energy to be stored overnight, which extends the vegetative activity of the vines. All the soils in Gigondas are rich in clay and have the essential characteristics that mark terroirs of the finest wines.
The climate is southern with Provençal influence and is marked by stark contrasts, subjected to the heat of the summer and the strong winds of the Mistral.Both warm and dry, it clocks up nearly 2,800 hours of sunshine annually. The turbulent geological past of the Dentelles de Montmirail, in the heart of the appellation area, has led to very wide range of aspects and acts as the main vehicle for an extremely propitious microclimate.With their steep landforms rising from the plain, the Dentelles cause breezes to rise and fall, mitigating peaks in temperature. For most vines, the West/North-West aspect provides perfect airflows, wards off the excessive heat of the summer and imbues Gigondas wines with smoothness and acidity that give them excellent ageability.
Download a cross-section of the geology of Gigondas (Georges Truc)
Download the 3D video : the Gigondas vineyard and its terroir families !