There have been many theories advanced about why [Considerant] chose this particular area. The land which he bought was much less fertile than other land, even in the surrounding area. Much of the colony land was heavily wooded with cedars. It included a large portion situated on the Austin Chalk formation, from which one of the main ingredients to cement is now extracted. The land was a bad choice for the site of a community that was to depend on agriculture. There was a lack of springs; water was obtained from places where it seeped through fissures in the rock formations. As these spots were often lower than the surrounding land, the water obtained from them was not wholesome. The lack of good natural springs was to take its toll during the summers of severe drouth that followed the colony’s established
The lands might have been chosen because of their similarity to the lands in the best wine-growing regions of France.
Source: The decline and fall of La Réunion, Anne Mallory Bond. Thesis (Senior)--Rice University, 1961. Reserved holding, Dallas Public Library.