“It all starts in our vineyard”
Wine is the magic result of terroir and vine. But what makes the difference between a great wine and a good wine is above all the encounter between a soil, a climate, and ancestral knowhow.
It’s in the heart of the Hérault, near Pézenas, a pretty village that’s heir to a rich historic heritage, that we find the Villa Noria vineyard, an estate of 90 hectares of vines nestling between the Mediterranean and the foothills.
The Mediterranean climate, hot and dry in summer and relatively mild in winter, is ideal for vines to flourish. The high number of sunshine hours makes it possible to obtain wines that are powerful, rich and aromatic, but also fresh. The differences in climate between the various terroirs of Villa Noria are quite marked (the influences of the height, the aspect, and the closeness of the sea which brings cool air in summer).
As Villa Noria has been converted to organic cultivation since 2010 and is devoted to producing the best wines, the vines are surrounded by hedges, to protect them from pesticide treatments in the neighbouring fields and also to provide a refuge for the vineyard auxiliaries, enhancing biodiversity and creating a balance.
A variety of terroirs
The Villa Noria vineyard draws its essence from a mosaic of terroirs which have a fundamental influence on the typicality of the Villa Noria wines.
1- Les Colombiers
Found in a cool area, the terroir called “Les Colombiers” is a cool terroir, found at the foot of volcanic slopes. This remarkable terroir comes from lava flow extending from the Massif Central to the Cap d’Agde; these black basaltic rocks are high in oligo-elements. This terroir is generally ten days behind the vines on the drier slopes. Les Colombiers is the ideal terroir for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; it enables the grapes to ripen more slowly and thus preserve all the complexity and freshness in these grape varieties that originally came from Burgundy.
2- La Serre
Found on the argilo-calcareous hillsides, the terroir called “La Serre” is in the production area for the AOP Picpoul de Pinet. This terroir is planted solely with the local grape variety, the Piquepoul (hence the appellation’s name of Picpoul de Pinet). This vineyard is on the heights of the appellation with a view over the Mediterranean Sea. The climate is tempered by the maritime influence. Ripening is very slow, which enables much freshness and fineness to be retained. It is generally the last parcel of vines to be harvested.
3- Les Horts
Found on the old alluvial terraces of the Hérault (a feisty river, 160 kilometres long), the soils in these terroirs are mainly made up of tiny pebbles (called “graves”). It is a well-drained soil which benefits from the same influences as in the Médoc or at Chateauneuf-du-Pape and avoids the excess of water which is detrimental to good-quality vines.
Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc are planted in this soil which is particularly suitable for them.
We may also notice that there are about twenty old wells on the estate. Groundwater sustains the vines during their growth period and descends progressively until the beginning of September, when it reaches a low level which creates a mild water stress that helps the grapes ripen. That geological position is similar to that of the great Bordeaux wines and is ideal for grape varieties such as Cabernet and Merlot.
4- La Ròca.
On basaltic slopes around the little town of Pézenas, the terroir called “La Ròca” is in the area of the appellation AOP Languedoc – Pézenas. It’s a hot soil that’s ideal for the Syrah and the Grenache Noir. The surroundings are “garrigue” scrubland, a vegetation typical of the south. The climate is Mediterranean with hot, dry weather in summer and a mild winter. This terroir benefits from an outstanding position with soil which gives aromatic finesse to the wines’ structure, as well as great depth.
5- La Candaurade
“La Candaurade” is a tiny parcel found in the area of the AOP Clairette du Languedoc appellation, close to Adissan. The soils are made up of marl and Villefranchien limestone. This terroir is planted solely with the local grape variety called the Clairette (hence the appellation’s name of Clairette du Languedoc). The Clairette Blanche is a very rustic grape variety which likes sunshine and soils that are poor, dry and pebbly.