“Terroir” Poboleda Estate- Geology (DOQ Priorat)

As one admires the biodiversity of our organic vineyard (Fig. 1), one can only stop to observe the unique characteristics of the geology where the vines are developed. Indeed, you appreciate that the outcrops are basically made up of slates of different composition and structure. According to the cartographer that we consulted, they belong to the Carboniferous (Paleozoic Era).

Inevitably you ask yourself several questions: where and how did these rocks form? How did our landscape form? To know the answer, we have to go back 360 million years in Earth’s history. We are facing a large continental mass, Pangea, enveloped by the Tethys Sea and a collision is taking place between the plates, which will give rise to the so-called “Orogenia Herciniana” or “Varisca”. At the same time, the continental plate is affected by turbulent currents that drag sediments into deeper waters giving rise to an immense underwater mass (Fig. 2). At these points the rocks of our story begin to form. However, not just minerals were deposited but also remains of living things, as witnessed by the fossil of a cephalopod of the Goniatites family found on the farm (Fig. 3).

The Hercinian Cordillera that arose transformed all the sediments, metamorphosing and folding them as if they were modelling clay, as demonstrated by the marks left (Fig. 4). Subsequently there was a period of intense erosion that devastated the mountains and again the plains of the territory were re-sedimented.

37 million years ago, in the Oligocene, the plates of Africa and Europe collide again, giving rise to the so-called Alpine Orogeny that shaped the mountains that we see today. As we have seen, these schists that disintegrated in our path have a great chronology, but not only that: their composition gives rise to acidic and full-bodied wines that are the delight of thousands of people in the world.

Fig.1                                                                         Fig.2


Fig.3                                                                         Fig.4



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