“Terre Blanche" - Sensational Soil
Tucked away on Provence's doorstep and at the heart of the Crozes Hermitage vineyards, a region rich in tastes, smells and flavours, the “Terre Blanche" quarry deposit was formed several million years ago.
The “Terre Blanche", or White Earth, we work with has since been refined by the passage of time and the elements : abundant sunshine, occasionally brisk winds and ancient streams and rivers so common to the area.
Used for thousands of years to produce pottery for cooking, 'Terre Blanche" has been a prime element of cooking ceramics in France since the Roman era.
Refined Soil, Unique Clay
The “Terre Blanche" from Larnage is unique, a kaolinic clay of exceptional quality:
The presence of Kaolin gives the clay it's white colour.
High aluminium oxide content makes the clay resistant to heat exceeding 1630°C. It is a refractory clay.
Containing no iron oxide, the clay doesn't distort the taste of food...
For centuries “Terre Blanche's" unique assets and natural composition have made it indispensable to cookery, thanks to the bricks and potteries of Larnage...
Our wealth, our identity
Although “Terre Blanche" has been used to produce ovens and refractory earthenware products since the 19th Century, our quarry is the only one still in use for this type of production.
With centuries of tradition behind us, we are passionate about our heritage and thrilled to carry on producing earthenware goods using the “Terre Blanche" of Larnage. What's more, we jealously protect the secrets of our refractory production which is, without doubt, in a league of it's own !
A clay to preserve
Located directly on the surface of the land, “Terre Blanche" has always made itself readily available to those who mine it with care. Being a rare product of time, it is in our interest to preserve it and restrict it's use so others can benefit from it's advantages in the future. What's more, we are committed to keeping the traditional knowledge of production alive, without upsetting the delicate balance between humankind and nature.
Every time we remove “Terre Blanche" we do it with care, without damaging it and without using explosives.
We clean it with simple clear water.
It is neither crushed, treated or mixed with other materials. We then sort it according to different sizes to optimise it's use.
The “Terre Blanche" is removed….but not yet fired.
It must now make it's way down to our workshops in Tain L'Hermitage, to create earthenware.