THE MARSHES OF L’ ÎLE DE RÉ, ARE A REFUGE FOR MIGRATORY BIRDS AND THE SITE OF SALT PRODUCTION BY SOLAR EVAPORATION SINCE THE 12TH CENTURY. Esprit du Sel was founded in 1986 to preserve the culture and the patrimony of the Valaur salt marshes and to offer you a range of sea salts, fleur de sel and sea salts blended with Organic herbs and spices. Fleur de Sel is a very fine white crystal that forms under the influence of the wind and sun on the surface of the pools. It is hand harvested by the local "sauniers" using traditional wood rakes. "Sel Gris", Grey Salt, is formed as the water in the pools evaporates, and the larger, mineral rich salt crystals precipitate and drop to the bottom of the clay ponds. This too is hand harvested using traditional wood rakes. Both are exceptional and indispensable finishing and cooking salts.