LogoThe origins: Stones and Wines

Exhibition carried out by Mr. Alain Martaud
> Mineral Zone > Exhibition area in Val d’Argent Expo


Since the beginning of mankind, early humans maintained a close relationship with the stone because it provided them their first tools. Today the ore, base of all industries as well as gemstones that ornate women’ fingers or crystals, wonderful collectors’ items, bring us together in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines.
For over 5,000 years human beings have produced wines with love and care. Skill, traditions, hard work and passion are at the origin of increasingly sophisticated and diversified wines. Among land products developed by them, wine is considered as a cultural exception. We talk about the ruby or garnet color of some particular red wine, because the Epicurean who is about enjoying a Grand Cru often takes a break for a first visual tasting… (© Mia Dixon) 

04338This is what this exhibition will introduce you to: firstly to the origin of the color of wines -the tannins- and the very complex and fascinating minerals. Simplified physics and chemistry concepts will be illustrated with examples among the most spectacular of the mineral kingdom. Then, you will observe comparisons between the robe of wines and the color of mineral species or the sparkle of a gemstone: ruby, garnet, pink fluorite, rhodochrosite, amber, topaz and many others will be part of it…
Amethyst is also known as Bacchus stone ‘, the god of wine: this fine intense purple colored stone is used since antiquity in jewelry and is supposed to protect from drunkenness! We will show you the diversity of this species and you will appreciate its properties… (© Louis-Dominique Bayle)

1000536-3Finally, wine also depends on the land where the vine grows: there are mineral deposits that coexist with vineyards. We’ll show you some amazing examples like the azurites of the Blue Cave of Chessy, the romanéchites the rare golden arséniosidérites of Romanèche-Thorins and yellow wulfénites of Lantigné right in the heart of the Beaujolais vineyards, the world famous pyromorphites of Bernkastel-Kues, middle in the precious vineyards of Mosel in Germany, the copper extracted since antiquity in the vineyards of Cabrières in Herault, the fluorite of Bergheim and its Gewurztraminer or the star sapphires of the Pallet Muscadet in Loire-Atlantique, but also the hundred mineral species found in the slopes of Vesuvius and its Lacryma Christi… (© Musée des Confluences de Lyon)

An original approach to mineralogy and geology through the wine, subject to constantly growing interest, object of speculation, but especially object of adoration! Exhibition to consume without moderation…

This exhibition is freely inspired by ‘Éclats de couleurs, pierres et vins de légende’ (Sparkle of colors, stones and cult wines), exhibition of the Museum of Dijon in 2007.


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The collections of: Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris, Musée Minéralogique de Mines ParisTech, Musée minéralogique de l’Université de Strasbourg, Musée des Confluences de Lyon and many private collectors.

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