A terroir is defined by its own multiple characteristics, among which we can mention two in particular:
- Climatology, with regional (Atlantic and Mediterranean climate) or local influences (microclimate depending on the exposure or surrounding reliefs).
The climate defines both rainfall and sunshine extents.
- Geology, which determines the characteristics of the bedrock and the soils that were formed.
The climate of the Lot valley results from several influences :
- An oceanic climate providing well-distributed rainfall, mild temperatures and significant sunshine for grape maturity.
- A mountain climate influenced by the Massif-Central inducing winter temperatures colder than on the Atlantic coast. This healthy climate in winter for the vineyards is moderate enough to preserve the vines.
The Lot Valley itself influences the vineyard. With its east-west orientation, it is subject to the engulfing of westerly winds, but protected from the cold winds of the north.
On the geologic plan, the Cahors vineyard is planted on two large types of soil. One soil situated in the valley formed by the three alluvial terraces of the Lot river, is bordered by a line of calcareous boulders at the foot of the limestone plateau. The second, the Causse, is situated on the plateau on limestone sometimes covered with siderolithic formations.
In the valley, the first terrace, richer in water, gives fruity wines; the second, gives rounder wines and the third, with a better drainage, gives the most structured wines, with aging quality.
Le vignoble du causse quant à lui possède une terre moins fertile que celle de la vallée. Les sols sont très drainants, les racines doivent plonger profondément pour trouver l'eau. La vigne est habituée aux conditions extrêmes et résiste mieux aux périodes climatiques difficiles. Les plateaux produisent des vins moins charnus mais très fins.