IDEAL TERROIR FOR WHITE WINES

TWO ELEMENTS INFLUENCE THE CASSIS TERROIR:
LIMESTONE AND THE SEA.

The Cassis vineyards are ringed in on all sides and face the Mediterranean Sea. They form a horseshoe shape, or cirque which is closed to the West by the Calanque range and to the East by Cap Canaille, named after the Provencal word “Cap Naio” which means cape bathed in water. Despite the strong Mediterranean character of their setting, the vines lie in an environment which is highly conducive to making outstanding white wines.
DAt 400 meters altitude, Cap Canaille is the highest seaside cliff in France. The slopes have been fashioned into narrow strips of terraced vineyards, known as “restanques”. The vine growers built stone walls to retain the soil on the steep rocky slopes. Today the vineyards stretch from the high hill down to the sea.

The vineyards are planted in limestone soils rich in iron oxide that comes from the cliff’s colluvial deposits.  The soil was formed 115 million years ago and is rich in limestone from the shells of fossilised organisms which lay on the bottom of the Urgonian seas.  This white limestone is exceptionally hard, and forces the vines to root deeply in search of the minerality which is present in the soil.
Many underground springs flow through the hills. They provide a good supply of water, indispensable to vine growth. The freshness from the water combined with the hard limestone perfectly suits the production of outstanding white wines.
The constant sea breezes also play an important role, regulating the heat and carrying traces of salt from the sea spray which deposit on the grape clusters, giving a touch of iodine that is so characteristic of the Cassis white wines.
The terroir also benefits from intense sunshine which reflects off the white limestone cliffs and soils. This concentrated solar radiation enhances the quality of the photosynthesis required for good grape ripeness.

lirelepdf
WEATHER FOR THE 2012 VINTAGE