Chateau de Beaucastel
Chateau de Beaucastel is located five kilometres south-east of Orange at the northern limit of the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation. The 30 hectares Coudoulet de Beaucastel vineyard lies just to the east of Beaucastel on the other side of the A7 autoroute. For reasons that will become evident, it is often referred to as a baby Beaucastel. When one looks at the geology of the soil at Coudoulet, the similarities with the soil at Beaucastel are legion. It is composed of a layer of marine limestone from the Miocene period, covered by a deposit of alpine diluvium. This blanket of rounded stones (or "galets") contributes much to the wines of Beaucastel: they retain the intense heat of the Mediterranean sun during the day then slowly disperse it to the vines during the night. They provide a head start to the vines in springtime. During the long Mediterranean summer, lack of water can stress the vineyard at times.However, the resistance built into Beaucastel's vine stock from 30 years of continuous organic culture allows the vineyard to come through periods of drought with few problems. Because the soil is porous and aerated, the vineyards at Beaucastel have developed root systems that penetrate deep into the earth in their search for water.