The hillside are made of steep slopes. They are superficially eroded which explains the existence of numerous terraces and plantations according to the surface. This sort of plantation makes the mecanisation easier, limits the erosion and retains the humidity in the soil.

The appellation Faugères presents an homogeneity quite particular because of its soil. We can say that more than 80% of the ground belongs to the geological system know as : " Monts de Faugères " wich dates back to the " Viséen Shistogréseux " that is to say the primary era. Here we find some of the oldest geological structures in France.

These grounds are made of clay coming from primary sea sediment. During the primary fold, the clays were submitted to heavy compression because of high temperatures. That gave birth to our present shist.

The whole part of Jean Claude Estève's vineyards are growing on these schistous hillsides created during the primary era (" Carbonifère ") between 200 and 400 meters high, directed south, facing the Mediterranean sea.

Le vignoble
On the foothills of the " Cévennes ", on the south slope of the " Montagne Noire ", the vineyards are terraced to the steep hillsides or on the stony plateaus. Its slopes burnt by the sun, its geographical, climatic and geological unity have created a very unique soil. The vineyards are submitted to a typical mediterranean microclimate, dry and warm during winter. Frosts are less usual than in the north of France so that climate helps in the production of wines that are generous and sweet on the tongue with a high alcohol content and the low acidity.

The whole part of the vineyard use five varieties of grapes (" grenache, carignan, syrah, mourvèdre, cinsault ") all of wich are well adapted to this dry ground and are able to take the best benefit from it.
The carignan, traditional vineplants of Faugères gives its duration and contributes to elaborate very specific wines. It is prepared by removing the stalks from the grapes in order to take out the slightly astringent tannin taste because of the stalks.
The syrah,a very old vineplant brought by the Romans, gives its elegance and many very special aromas. For the rosé, it gives a fruited taste and a nice colour. For the red wines, the aromas of the syrah are rather floral or have a taste of small red over ripe fruits. That plant conveys a great delicacy of tannins.
The grenache conveys its strength and its fullness.
The mourvèdre is famous for the great quality of its tannins which guarantees an excellent duration. It brings to the wine an animal scent (leather scent).
The cinsault conveys its delicacy, its lightness and floral scents.

The blending of these different grapes in the right proportions, after many tastings, have confirmed the quality of "Domaine Estève" or "Château des Adouzes".

Le vignoble, vue d'avion
The surface of vineyards is actually of about 40 hectares. The density of growing is of 4000 to 5000 plants / hectare.
The work of the ground is traditional, a part of the fruits are removed in june to limit the production which is actually of 40 to 45 hectolitres / hectare for the quality : " Domaine Estève ", 30 to 35 hectolitres / hectare for the quality : " Château des Adouzes ".
The pruning of the vineyards :
In a traditional way " en gobelet " for the old vineyards(carignan and cinsault).
The varieties used since the last twenty years to ameliorate the wines (syrah, mourvèdre and grenache) are grown using a technic know as " Sur fil et palissage ", grown on overhead cables.
Les vignes, vues du village
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Chateau des Adouzes

Domaine ESTEVE
SARL Estève et Fils 34320 Roquessels - France
tel: (+33) and (+33)
fax: (+33)
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Made by Franck Dévé