High stony plateaux, stretches of river-smoothed pebbles… Signargues provides a generous terroir whose wines are subtly underscored by a strong, gentle balance.Christophe Tassan
Signargues: a name redolent of the Midi, France’s Deep South! And indeed, its vineyards are the southernmost of any with Côtes du Rhône Villages status. Midway between Avignon and the Roman aqueduct of the Pont du Gard, this is also a place of strong historical associations. In 736, it was the scene of a great battle between the troops of Charles Martel and the Saracens, who were then occupying the South of France. The term “Sign” is a reference to the blood shed during these historic invasions. “Argues”, on the other hand, derives from the name of the Roman settlement. Vestiges of this period have been found: a double-faced statuette of Bacchus and an image of Ariane – both now star turns at the Musée du Louvre.
The vineyards are there to bear witness to this classical past. Planted in what was once the bed of the River Rhone, the vines are rooted in one of the region’s most noble soils. Here, thousands of years ago, on its journey from the Alps, the river deposited smooth-rolled pebbles, reddened by iron oxide. Grown in this harsh medium, the vines produce some of the greatest red wines: subtle, elegant, distinguished. And the ever-present garrigue lends them its special aromas of Mediterranean herbs and black-berry fruits. To be appreciated at their best, these wines need to be laid down for two to five years.
The AOC applies only to still red wines. Grape blends must consist of 50% Grenache, together with a maximum of 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre. The appellation’s wines must have an alcohol content of at least 12.5% by volume.
The Signargues plateau was occupied at the time of the Roman colonisation. Archaeological finds include a double-faced statuette of Bacchus and Ariadne, now kept in the Louvre in Paris.
Signargues first made the headlines in 736, as the theatre of Charles Martel’s victory over the Saracens. To commemorate his exploit, the Frankish king had a chapel built, dedicated to Saint-Jean des Vignes.
The area was granted the Côtes du Rhône Villages Signargues appellation in 2005.
View the decrees granting appellation status (INAO)2005Birth of AOC Signargues
The Signargues wine-growing area extends over four communes: Domazan, Estézargues, Rochefort du Gard, Saze.
At an average altitude of 150 metres above the Rhone, the climate is of Mediterranean type: hot, dry and strongly influenced by the mistral.
Terraces of rolled pebbles over sandstones or marls of the Pliocene epoch, their iron content rusted by oxidisation.
surface area355 hectares
Total production13 620 hl
- 100% Red
Average yield achieved38 hl/ha
*Export figures according to the most recent research
Source : Harvest statement 2016