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Soil composition and management in Hermitage, France

Experience of Cave de Tain winery

In our region we will find 2 main terroir units:

- Soils originating from the rocks of the primary basement (Granite-Gneiss) installed on the right bank of the Rhone river (Saint Joseph-Cornas -Saint Péray) and for a small part on the left bank in immediate edge of the Rhone.

- The alluvial soils come from the pebble terraces of the quaternary period which essentially concern the left bank on the Crozes Hermitage and Hermitage appellations.

It is necessary to add to that some other particular cases: loess cover in some places in, kaolin in Larnage and limestones on the south of Saint Joseph.

Another peculiarity of the region is that we have, sometimes on the same appellations, two types of vineyard: a classic, mechanizable vineyard and a vineyard developed on steep slopes, which are very difficult to maintain.

Our soils are in the majority of cases very filtering and not very clayey, so we do not need a drainage system and grassing is to be used with caution. Green manures have been tested on mechanizable parts for a few years. In order to control weeds, the techniques that predominate are tillage (which is increasing rapidly) and use of herbicides for part of the slopes.


(Daniel Brissot)
Published on: 10/10/2019
Item available in francais
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