Terroir

Terroir

  • terroir 1
  • Bruno
  • Terroir odyssee
  • Terroir vignes 2
  • Glass
  • Terroir Mauzac
“Terroir”  is an untranslated, untranslatable word which most closely defines our philosophy of wine-making.  It explains why our wines taste the way they taste, why they are so unmistakably “Rives-Blanques”.   It defines our destination and our voyage alike  – and it is what we try to put the most of in our wines.

Rives-Blanques lies surrounded by woodland in a Natura 2000 reserve protected by Europe for its unique combination of Mediterranean and Atlantic flora and fauna. It is exactly these same  influences that lend both fruit and finesse to our wines: the Mediterranean for the passion, and the Atlantic for the cool elegance.

The vineyard is on a plateau 350 high in the foothills of the Pyrenees. The same quartz that lies on the top of the peak Rives Blanques, after which the vineyard is named, also lies scattered amongst the vines.

We have the origin and erosion of the nearby Pyrenees to thank for our geologically rich ground soils of Eocene molasse, a thick sequence of pebble rich sandstones and marls with its treasure chest of green and black schists, black dolomite limestones, blue-purple metamorphic limestones and quartzites, which dates back about 40 million years to the days when tapir-like Lophiodons inhabited our landscape. Coupled with cool nights and perfect growing conditions, these interesting and complex soils enhance the natural sweetness of mauzac, the complexity of chardonnay and the freshness of chenin blanc.

Because of this unique terroir, the great white grape varieties of all the great white wine regions of France can find their voice here and sing together: chardonnay (originally from Burgundy),  chenin blanc (originally from the Loire), and the Languedoc’s own mauzac all thriving under the same southern sun, on our high-altitude plateau.