FOR YOUR WEEKENDS OR HOLIDAYS

VINEYARDS IN THE GARD

VINEYARDS IN THE GARD

Vineyard-in-the-Gard

Explore the Gard by driving along the many wine roads.

The Gard is full of highly diverse terroirs where vineyards happily thrive. In the Gard alone, the winemakers have patiently crafted six different Appellations d’Origine Protégées (Protected Designation of Origin) and three distinct Indications Géographiques Protégées (Protected Geographical Indication) full of sunshine, aromas and generosity.

The successful viticulture in the Gard is strongly related to the soils and their different characteristics: ochre and red soils enriched with alluvial deposits from the Rhône, rounded pebbles in the Costière, chalky scrubland, carbonated soils in the plains, dune sand along the coast – many different types of soils which give rise to the richness and diversity of vineyards in the Gard.

The Mediterranean climate is the unifying factor among the different grape varieties planted in the Gard. Though full of constraints and contrasts, the climate is very conducive to grape-growing. The Gard area is the warmest region in France and temperatures can exceed 30°C in summertime. Rainfall is rare, irregular and sporadic. Sea breezes bring welcome moisture to the vineyards and moderate the effects of the heat. Land breezes dry out the soil.

Viticulture in the Gard is a long-standing tradition, deeply rooted in Mediterranean culture. The passion of the winemakers in the Gard is clearly reflected in the widely acknowledged quality of the wines.

In county Gard, viticulture has undergone a veritable revolution over the past twenty years. Firmly rooted in highly developed terroirs and benefiting from outstanding sunshine, the winemakers and their cellars, both cooperative wine cellars and private estates, have made major strides forward. The profession has gone from quantitative production for mass consumption to extremely qualitative production, entailing changes in varieties planted, lower yields, new vinification methods and others. The production of the local Vins de Pays has turned to fruity wines, often featuring the characteristics of certain varietals such as Chardonnay, Viognier and Merlot. This new orientation meets consumer demand and widens the opportunities for exports, which have grown consistently over the past ten years. One excellent way to discover these wines is to stop in the cooperative wine cellars in the villages and in the private estates along your way as you travel through the Gard.

The “Vignobles et découvertes” Label

The Gard Côtes-du-Rhône wines have been awarded the “Vignobles & Découvertes” label.

This label, started in 2009, promotes wine-based tourism and is awarded to viticulture-touring destinations for a period of 3 years. The label distinguishes destinations which offer complete vineyard-based stays that include accommodations, food, cellar discoveries, visits to cultural sites, local savoir-faire, leisure activities, events, discovery of natural sites and reception structures that meet stringent quality requirements. The “Vignobles & Découvertes” label is awarded by the Tourism and Agriculture Ministries upon recommendations from the French Oenotourism Council.