The Terroir of Le Pigeoulet

The name Pigeoulet was given to this Vin de Pays de Vaucluse – the “house wine” at Les Vignobles Brunier – for it is the name of the lieu-dit where the family home and the Vieux Télégraphe offices and cellars are located.
Le Pigeoulet acquired its definitive source in 1998, when the terroir of Caromb was wedded with that by the Rhône.
In this particular case, it can be said to be a blend of terroirs: Caromb is 30km to the east and their climates are a significant factor, not to mention the exposures and the soils, which are very different in structure.

The plot south of the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, on the east bank of the Rhône, is mainly planted with 40-year-old Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault; it amounts to about a third of the total Pigeoulet plantings. The soil is modern, sandy-clay alluvium excluded from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC area when this was created in 1929, because rich and lacking in complexity. But it has the great quality of withstanding dry, hot summers without the need for irrigation.
The climate here is identical to that in Châteauneuf-du-Pape: pleasantly swept by the Mistral, with high sunshine and average rainfall of 550-600mm a year.

The other two-thirds of the Pigeoulet vines are in the Côtes du Ventoux AOC area, on the lower southwest-facing foothills of Mont Ventoux (1,912m), in the municipality of Caromb.
The dominate grape is Grenache, accompanied by Carignan; the vines of both varieties are 35 years old.
The soils derive from Tertiary sediments, hard limestone, scree and old alluvium containing small round stones.
Because there is no irrigation – the case in all our vineyards – there is considerable hydric stress here in some summers, indicating the draining properties and low clay content of the upper layers.
Regarding climate, the two notable differences with the central Rhône Valley are a much less prominent Mistral and lower winter temperatures due to a slightly higher altitude.
Generally, grape maturity and harvesting come two weeks later than in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

The département of Vaucluse is the link between these two Pigeoulet terroirs. This is why Côtes du Ventoux AOC status has not been requested; the designation “Vin de Pays de Vaucluse” is used.


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