The Costières de Nîmes
wine producing area is of Roman origin and is one of the oldest in Europe. It sits at the junction of “Occitania” and Provence. The wines of the Costières de Nîmes were popular with the Greeks, followed by the Romans, served to the Popes in Avignon, and exported from the 16th century. Geographically located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, but with characteristics resembling those of the Cotes du Rhône, the Costières de Nîmes
vineyards extend from Nîmes to the banks of the Rhône. The “Costières du Gard” wines were VDQS in 1950, made an AOC in 1986, and then became Costières de Nîmes in 1989. Today’s appellation area spans 24 communes and covers 25,000 hectares of hills and plateaux between 20 and 100 metres altitude, of which only half is under vine.
The grape varieties planted for the red and rosé wines are Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. For the whites, the main grape varieties are Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Maccabeo and Rolle. The finest Costières de Nîmes wines are without doubt those produced by Château Mourgues du Grès and Château Mas Neuf.
The Mediterranean climate with maritime influences has three important features: over 250 days of sunshine per year, rainfall concentrated over a few days, and the Mistral wind that blows and “cleanses” the vineyard. Thanks to the local groundwater, the vines never suffer in the summer drought. The terroir of the Costières de Nîmes wines is made up of pebbles and is the largest Villafranchian terrace in Europe. This layer of pebbles, several metres thick, stores the heat from the sun during the day and releases it at night, as in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. But, unlike its scorching neighbour, the hot mass formed by the pebbles in Costières de Nîmes reinforces the convection effect of the thermal breezes. The cool sea breezes blowing across the Petite Camargue in the late afternoon meet the warm mass of these pebbles as they rise up along the Costières, and a suction effect is created. The tempering effect of these breezes increases the variation between day and night-time temperatures, which is known to preserve the freshness and purity of the fruit in the wines. These different elements produce grapes with high natural potential and sugar content.
More informations on the website of the wines of Costières de Nîmes