Galets are large, round stones that can be found as part of the soil of many vineyards in the southern Rhone Valley in France. They are mostly made of quartzite that was smoothed by contact with the Rhone River for thousands of years, giving them their peculiar shape and texture. Layers of galets lay on top of the vineyard floor, retaining heat during the day and liberating it at night, helping the grape bunches to ripen properly. They also help to retain humidity during hot summer months and protect the soil from erosion caused by heavy winds typical of the region.
Some of the most famous wine growing areas in southern Rhone benefit from their galet-covered soil, especially in Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where red grapes Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre thrive. World renowned winery Paul Jaboulet Aine has been producing wine in the Rhone Valley since 1834, with vineyards in both the north and south areas. Try a bottle of their “Parallel 45” Côtes du Rhône white, red or rosé, or their “Les Cedres” red blend from Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a classic taste of this region.
Author: Maytte Rivera