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Terre de Schistes Wine

Geologic Wine Labels

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"Land of schists" fairly describes the Faugères wine district in southernmost France, since 1982 a full-fledged appellation. (more below)
A wine with real schistosity
Photo (c) 2001 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)
American wine lands, at least in the West, generally do not overlie schist but rather gain their character from volcanic rocks, serpentine rocks, sandstones or conglomerates, and granites. Schist is a rock of higher metamorphic grade, in which clay minerals are transformed into mica and metamorphic minerals such as staurolite and garnet occur. The Alpine belt of southern Europe, owing to crustal plate interactions with Africa, contains a great deal of schist and similar rocks.

The official Faugères Web site at faugeres.com tells much more about the region and its wines. All I can say is that this wine was a good value, balanced and fragrant with a distinct flinty element. I don't have the discernment to say anything about the terroir (see this article about the terroir of the Napa Valley), but if your French is fair, you can read the vintner's elaboration on schist at the Faugères Web site—there's no English counterpart.

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