There are three main subsoils in Châteauneuf du Pape :
• The plateau of La Crau, from the Villafranchian period (1.9 - 1.8 million years old) rich with round pebbles from the Rhône, and a notable layer of blue clay at 7 - 8 meter deep that plays an important role of humidity regulation in summer. This type of soil is particularly adapted to wind growing, and produces strongly characteristic wines, deep and complex.
• The top plateau in the area of Cabrières is made up of both Villafranchian round pebbles from the Rhône and loose limestone from the older Urgonian Period cliffs (127 to 125 million years old) alongside the western area.
Other parcels are smaller, but very interesting for wine growing such as :
• The medium-height terrace of La Nerthe, which contains a smaller amount of of Villafranchian pebbles.
• The lower Southern Terrace of Châteauneuf du Pape is from the Wurmian Period (75 000 years old) and is made up of round pebbles, loose lime stones with a mixture of very old and more recent alluvia.