The vineyard of Vacqueyras
The vineyard of Vacqueyras is located on the southern border the cru of Gigondas and covers 1390 hectares of land which extends over the communes of Vacqueyras and Sarrians. At its northern edge the vineyards are situated on the light slopes of the Dentelles des Montmirail. The vast majority of the vineyard is located on a raised terraces south and south west of the Dentelles.
Unlike, the neighbouring cru of Gigondas, the vineyards are predominantly located on wide flat terraces which were formed by the Ouvéze river (which feed the Rhône river). There are some rolling slopes, but these are the exception rather than the norm.
Consequently, the vineyards are exposed to the heat of the sun from dawn until dusk.
In addition, there are very few places to hide from the northern Mistral winds which can blow up to 120 days per year. Suffice it to say, that the climate of Vacqueyras is hot and dry.
Whilst the vineyards are mainly flat, the soils vary in composition. Limestone is ever present but sand and sandstone dominates near the foot of the Dentelles hills. Clay and large stones appear more as you move on to the terraces. Full, delicate, and complex, the wines from this appellation are the result of blends that harmoniously combine the qualities of different terroirs…
For the red wines (97% of production), the main variety used is Granache Noir (at least 50%), followed by Syrah and Mourvèdre (at least 20%). In total, 90% of all vines planted are either Grenache, Syrah, or Mourvèdre, and other Côtes du Rhône varieties may be used up to a maximum of 10%. N.B. Carignan, formerly forbidden, has recently been authorized.
For the rosé, one finds the main red grape varieties: Grenache noir, mourvèdre and cinsault. However, Grenache must not represent more than 60% of the grape variety and the Mourvèdre and Cinsault grapes, together or separately, must represent at least 15% of the vine variety. The secondary varietals may be any of the varieties permitted for the controlled label of origin “Côtes du Rhône”, excluding the carignan. Together or separately, secondary varieties are limited to a maximum of 10% of the grape varieties.
For white: bourboulenc, clairette, white grenache, marsanne, roussanne and viognier are used. Each of these varietals can represent no more than 80% of the vines.