In total there are 35 hectares of vines that include fifteen different varieties. Their elevation is just under 200 metres and they tend to be on gentle to moderate slopes. The oldest vines we have were planted in 1955, with intensive plantings in the early 1970s and steady re-developments in the mid 1980s through to 2008. With such a diverse collection of vine ages, varieties, parcels and training systems, uniform management is out of the question! Each parcel's characteristics have to be considered when deciding on how best to manage the vines
Officially, Terre des 2 Sources covers a variety of appellations: AOP Terrasses du Larzac, AOP Languedoc, Indication géographique protégée (IGP) and IGP Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. Functionally, our soils tend to be clay-based with limestone origins, but with varying amounts of medium to small stones. These factors, in combination with a multitude of slopes and aspects, create a broad palette of environments that will be the basis of fundamental vine growth and fruit development. The overall climate is moderated by the higher elevations, which lead to cooler night-time temperatures, higher acidity in the grapes, and more elegant and age-worthy wines. Another benefit are the ever present winds, which help dry the canopy and reduce the risk of fungal diseases taking hold.
Managing the vines at Terre des2 Sources is all about balance - finding the right one between soil, rainfall, temperatures, vine growth and grape production. When the balance is right, all is in harmony, resulting in healthy soils, happy vines, and quality wines of distinction.
Rather than reactive management of the vines, at Terre des 2 Sources we take a proactive approach that relies on planning and observing the vines closely and carefully for pests and diseases. Some of the work is done by machine, a necessity when there are 35 hectares of vineyards, but for our premium parcels there is more attention paid to the vines all through the year.
Our approach to pesticides is to minimise their use through proactive management, extensive scouting and using softer chemicals when they are available.
For more details about our practices, please refer to some of our blog entries.
Our estate has a wide range of varieties across its vineyards. Some may see this as a disadvantage, but we see it as an opportunity: with all the different parcels of vines, we have a wide palette of fruit qualities to work with when creating our blends!
Planting in 2020! An unusual variety for the Languedoc, Chenin blanc is best known as a principal grape of the Loire Valley, where it can be made into a steely dry sparkling or a still wine through to an unctuous dessert wine. We love the acid backbone that the fruit contributes and think it will be a cherished component of our blended white wines
Planting in 2020! This variety's origins are not too far from us: north eastern Spain. It is well suited to our Mediterranean climate, producing wines that have ripe fruity notes with added herbaceous/floral components that add complexity and interest. We think it will be that special something that helps make wine a pleasure to drink.
More commonly associated with the northern Rhône, our small blocks of Marsanne provide a piece of the puzzles that are our blended white wines. Outside of a blend, the wines can have characteristics of citrus, quince and stone fruit, and if picked at the right time, a pleasing acidity.
Similar to Marsanne, Roussanne is found in the Rhône, but is a more significant part of the blends. We find this to be the case as well, where it has the structure and flavour profile to form a sturdy base for a blended white wine. Our slightly cooler climate means the wine has less overt fruit and more floral characteristics, lending an elegance to the package.
With Kirsten and Glen's New Zealand background, our tiny parcel of 0.3 hectares has a special place in their hearts. While the climate means we cannot replicate the New Zealand style of the wine, it does possess unique flavour profiles that are used to add that special something to our blended white wines.
Also known as Trebbiano in Italy (where it's used to make wine and Basalmic vinegar) and in the Cognac and Armagnac areas of France, St. Émilion (where it is an important component of those famous brandies), this white grape is borne on large clusters (800g each or more!). On its own it can make a fresh, fruity wine with good acidity, but at Td2S it is an important component adding a bit of 'zing' to our blended whites.
Originally from Italy, this variety (also commonly known as Rolle in the Languedoc) is also widely grown in Corsica and the South of France. It can be highly aromatic consisting of citrus blossom, fresh pear and herbs.
Pronounced "vee-own-nyee-ay", Viognier is a mainstay of the Rhône. At one point, in the 1960s it has been said that less than four hectares of these vines were left in France, but a surge in popularity after the 1980s has seen the area grow immensely and in many different winemaking countries. It's no wonder why, either, as it can produce fantastic wines on its own, or it can lend a bit of brightness and elegance to a blend. It's been described as having apricot, white peach, honeysuckle and even spice aromas (think nutmeg or clove), usually accompanied by higher alcohol, lending body and weight to the palate.
Aramon was a mainstay of the Southern France wine industry from the late 1800s into the 1960s due to its ability to produce fruit, and lots of it! Our vines are old and no longer capable of high yields, leading to red wines that are fruity and light in style - good for adding a bit of lightness to a red wine or as a component of rosé. Along with Viognier, Aramon is usually the first of our grapevines to start growing in the Spring.
Aubun is now a rare variety (there are only about 700 ha left in France) that was planted in the southern Rhône. It has big berries with thick skins that resist disease, which makes it an excellent component of rosé wines.
The workhorse of Bordeaux, it's a bit unusual to find Cabernet Sauvignon in the Languedoc. We find that it makes an intensely coloured and flavoured wine, with a nose expressing dark fruit, coffee grounds and chocolate. A bit too much on its own, we use it to add depth and structure to a blend.
Our most planted variety at 6.5 hectares, Carignan is capable of producing stunning, long lived, single-variety wines, or it can contributing structure and power to a blend. It's the last variety we pick, with the long ripening period and small berries contributing to dense colour and intense flavours. Carignan is one of the primary varieties of a Terrasses du Larzac wine.
Our third-most-planted variety, Cinsault (also spelled Cinsaut) has large clusters of large berries, leading it to lose favour in red wine circles. However, it can be an important part of a blend, contributing floral and strawberry notes, or used to make really nice rosé. Cinsault is an accessory variety for Terrasses du Larzac wines, meaning it can make up only a small portion of the blend.
One of the world's most planted grapes, Grenache (or Garnacha in it's home country of Spain) is one of the backbones of many regions' best red wines. In our little valley, it provides excellent bright fruit characteristics with a bit of spice-cake and added herbal notes. Grenache is another primary variety for Terrasses du Larzac wines. For a photo, see the large image at the top of this page.
Another unusual grape for the Languedoc, Merlot is more typically found in Bordeaux and pretty much everywhere else in the world. Our Merlot is picked earlier rather than later to produce a more elegant style of easy-drinking wine.
Syrah is the last of our primary Terrasses du Larzac grape varieties and it provides an elegant base for a number of our blended reds, as well as being used in several of our rosés. Typically, it contributes tannic structure and length along with it's dark, ripe red fruit and chocolatey notes. It's our estate's second-most planted variety, and we plan on planting more.