Soils made for fresh wines

The Paradou vineyards are all slightly elevated on rather poor soils in order to obtain the freshest and most drinkable wines possible by avoiding being South-facing. In the case of the Viognier, the vineyard is situated North-East of Montpellier, between Nîmes et Uzès, at the foot of the Massif des Cévennes, on fairly poor chalky lime-stones soils (essentially folded Jurassic rocks) at an average altitude of 150 to 200 m which gives a slight mineral taste to the wine.

In the case of the Grenache however, most of the vineyard is situated much further West, North of Narbonne, in the Minervois, at an average altitude of 250 m on richer lime-stones and clay soils (pebbly terraces which were deposited during the substantial floods of the Quaternary Period) which makes for powerfully structured but very balanced wines.

Mediterranean climate and sustainable agriculture

The vineyard plots of the Paradou receive an exceptional amount of sunshine because of their situation in the Languedoc region which is characterised throughout by a Mediterranean climate: warm winters and very dry and hot summers; there is a lot of sun and very little rain, but when it rains it is often in the form of sudden downpours occurring mostly during the winter. The dominant winds that sweep the region are the “tramontane”, a cold and dry wind that chases the clouds away, and the “marin”, a humid wind that attracts the clouds.

These particularly favourable weather conditions are good for optimal maturation, but concern for the balance of the wines trumps the quest for concentration. They are also good for the development of sustainable wine-making. The Chaudière brothers are attentive to the fact that the Paradou vines should be treated with the most effective means by reducing to a strict minimum the use of synthetically produced entrants and by choosing to use organic amendments and mechanical weeding.