The Geology and soil.
The diversity of the viticultural soil in the Roussillon is the complex result of the interaction between a long geological history and a positionment between mediteranien climat and climatic altitudes, which confer to the soil a variety of different characteristics. The Roussillon is without any doubt along with the Alsace, the only region in France to present such a difference in soils: schist, gneiss, granite, clay, chalk, gravel....dispersed through the low coastal planes to the slopes of the Pyrenees, each wine variety of the AOC wines of Roussillon finds its soil of predilection in order to better express its character and specificity. For many years now, the search of adequacy between wine varieties, soil, and viticultural practices premits the wine makers to prosper from a wide variety of wines and an indisputible classification.
The relief as it apears on the topographical map, combined with the geological diversity, permits for even the most curious people to apreciate the estonishing diversity of landscapes, soils and undergrounds of the Roussillon.
The relief of the Roussillon draws a vaste amphitheater, dominated by imposing heights, many times difficult to contour and which separate the different neighbooring regions.
-To the North, the domain of plateaux and chains of chalk in the Corbiere mountains extending from Roc Paradet (900m) to Montoulie de Perillou, dominating Perillos and passing by the plateau of St. Paul (943m), the Queribus castle (728m), and the climatic greenhouse effect of Vingrau.
-To the West, the sommet of the Canigou (2785m) and the Madres (2741m) form the most oriental cape of the Pyrenian chains, of which the high slopes disperse into the planes through the intermiediate of the massif of Millas and the Aspres.
-To the South, the massifs of the Alberes and Roc de France (1450m) form a massive border between the North and the South of Catalogne.
The Roussillon owes its geological and topographical complexity to a long history which can be resumed in one big part to the geological history of Europe.