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Colline aux Fossiles

The Roussillon has a little bit of everything and a lot of history. There are limestone mountains to the north […]

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Colline aux Fossiles

The Roussillon has a little bit of everything and a lot of history. There are limestone mountains to the north along the border with Corbières and granite peaks to the south, where it shares a border with Spain. In between are several distinct terroirs: red schist in Asprès, a potpourri of igneous and metamorphic soils in Fenouillade, black schist and limestone in Maury, and three rivers that have formed a broad alluvial, coastal plain. The terroirs and microclimates of the Roussillon make it a veritable playground for experimentation and discovery – even with something as common seeming as Chardonnay.

For a while, we’ve partnered with Jean-Marc Lafage to make a Chardonnay from the coastal plain of the Roussillon, where the Mediterranean brings plenty of freshness to make a varietally pure and expressive style of wine. But that isn’t the only place where Chardonnay grows in the Roussillon. A little further inland and along the Têt river valley, Chardonnay thrives on deep red clay soils with gravels washed down from the surrounding mountains. This is a sterner terroir, warmer and drier than the vineyards near the sea. The wine from these vineyards never quite fit into our other Chardonnay bottling, and when Jean-Marc Lafage started to age it in an older, well-seasoned 5000L oak cask, we realized that this wine needed to be bottled on its own.

The name Colline aux Fossiles may seem fanciful, but there are actually old, weathered fossils mixed in this site’s gravelly soils. We should have realized that we were standing on a Chardonnay terroir when we first saw these fossils. It just took us a little time to find the best way to showcase it.

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Wines

  • Red
  • Rose
  • White
Roussillon, France
  • Location
    Roussillon, France
  • Primary Appellation
    Vin de France
  • Proprietor
    Eric Solomon
  • Winemaker
    Jean-Marc Lafage
  • Size / Elevation
    2 hectares / 100 meters
  • Age of Vines
    25-40 years
  • Farming
    Sustainable
  • Varieties
    Chardonnay
  • Cellar
    Hand harvested, fermentation and aging in a 5000L French oak vat

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