Deep soils of marine origin


The passage of the river through our estate causes soil of marine origin to come to the surface - soil that is around 16 million years old, and in which an incredible number of marine fossils were deposited. Our soils have excellent water reserves for winegrowing due to the proportion of clays, limes and sands, as well as the generous depth of the earth.

The specific geological history of our estate


Everything began 40 million years ago, when the European and African continental tectonic plates collided, forming Europe's and Catalonia’s main mountain ranges: the Pyrenees and today's Catalan Coastal and Pre-Coastal Ranges. Twenty million years later, a change of direction in the movement of the large plates

caused the formation of a series of depressions, which occupied the seabed and the landmass of Catalonia
The depressions of the Penedès and the Vallès were formed during this period.

At that time, our valley was covered by the Mediterranean Sea, forming a large estuary bordered by mountains on each side

Rivers carrying continental materials such as marl and other sediments flowed into the estuary depositing these items on the seabed where they joined marine organisms such as shellfish, sea urchins, sea snails, etc.
Five million years ago, a geological event known as “the Messinian Salinity Crisis” occurred, during which the drying out of the Mediterranean caused an extreme drop in the sea level.

The water reached today's coast, drying out our entire valley, the Anoia River Basin

For long periods, the powerful waters of the River Anoia excavated the land, revealing fossil-bearing sediments 16 million years old, which had been covered up for a very long time.
In other periods, the river did not carve out the earth but instead deposited a layer of loam and gravel sediments onto nearby land. Large tracts of these sediments still exist today and are proof of the river's passage through this land.

The fossil-bearing land that the River Anoia uncovered during the excavation periods, and the sediments it deposited during the more productive periods, form part of the soils on the Raventós i Blanc estate.

Thus, our soils are basically clay on bedrock, and limestone with a large quantity of marine fossils

Interactive map of the soils on our Estate


Costers del SerralSoil 16 million years' old (Miocene)
Vinya més altaSoil 5 million years' old (Pliocene)
Vinyes de la planaSoil under 1 million years' old (Quaternary)

Costers del Serral

Of marine origin made up of sandstone, marl, calcarenites and a large number of marine fossils. The geological units of this area are formed by sediments of marine and coastal origin and are around 16 million years’ old (Miocene). The sediments of marine origin are grey clays, sands with small fragments of fossils and sand with pebbles and large pieces of fossils (sea snails, shells and oysters). The coastal sediments are brownish sands rich in quartz and mica, unconsolidated and with sporadic evidence of fragments of rock (quartz and metamorphic and igneous rocks) from Montseny and the Maresme.

Vinya més alta

There are a large number of eroded limestone pebbles from the Catalan mountain range that existed here around 120 million years ago (at a shallow depth we find soil of marine origin).
The highest vineyard is located on top of conglomerates of continental origin, which are between 2 and 5 million years old (Pliocene). The conglomerates were formed by loose fragments of rounded rock that can easily measure as much as 20 cm in diameter. The fragments we find in this zone include limestone rocks from very old units found in the Pre-Coastal Mountain Range. These conglomerates were brought here by torrential flood waters containing eroded material from the Pre-Coastal Range. At shallow depths, we find sediments of marine and coastal origin around 16 million years’ old.

Vinyes de la plana

Shallow layers of gravel, clays and silts transported by the River Anoia (at a shallow depth there are soils of marine origin).These vines are located on large flat areas situated at two different topographic levels and formed by sediments left by the River Anoia over the last million years (Quaternary). These sediments are, on the one hand, dark brown and grey clays and silts with some nodules of calcium carbonate and, on the other hand, rounded pebbles essentially made up of limestone. At a shallow depth, we find sediments of marine and coastal origin around 16 million years’ old.

© Raventós i Blanc SA, 2019
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