We are lucky that our vineyard is situated in an exceptional environment, including the following features:
-the proximity of two gorges: Val de Sorne, and Val de Vallière;
-excellent and varied geology: lias, trias, Keuper, micaceous marls, scree;
-a microclimate created by our geographical situation in the foothills of the Jura Mountains (between 250 and 350m altitude);
-suitable rainfall levels, hot Summers, sunny Autumns, hard frosts in Winter;
-the presence of thickets, rivers, protective slopes around the vines, and orchards.
It is up to us to bring out the best of these landscapes, marls, and native vine varieties by respecting the environment (and the health of the wine grower and his employees!).
Our first experiments in organic farming began in 1998. The entire vineyard was then converted to biodynamics in 2002 with the first Demeter inspection taking place in 2003. We have also been members of the “Return to Terroir” group since 2007.
What is biodynamics?
Work in the Vines:
– We maintain natural cover crops on alternate rows and plough the remaining rows using an inter-vine hoe;
– we prune our vines hard, and employ bud-pruning and green harvesting if necessary, giving an average yield of 1.9 TPA (33Hl/Ha).
– We fertilise our vines using manure-based compost (containing biodynamic preparations).
– We visually select our future vine stocks in a bid to re-establish genuine mass selection.
– Our plots are regularly analysed by the geologist M Hérody.
– We frequently participate in training courses on biodynamic techniques.
Horn manure (preparation 500) is sprayed in Spring and Autumn to invigorate the soil. Its purpose is to emphasize the unique character of our terroir whilst enhancing the vines’ root development.
The vine foliage receives several applications of silica (preparation 501) to stimulate both photosynthesis and the plants’ natural immunity.
The vines are also sprayed with herbal tea preparations made from: nettles, burdock, meadowsweet, osier, horsetail, and chamomile.
We add clay to our sprays to reduce the quantities of sulphur and copper required. All of our work is carried out following the phases of the lunar calendar.
Harvest and Winemaking:
– Our grapes are harvested exclusively by hand before being selectively sorted.
– We use little or no S02.
– No chaptalization
– Only indigenous yeasts developed in a leaven.
– Our wines age without any intervention to preserve the natural balance of the musts and wines. We manipulate the wines as little as possible, seldom using pumps.
– We bottle the wines ourselves.
– Only natural, fire-branded cork is used for our stoppers.
Given these principles, we market only our own produce, guaranteed by Ecocert inspections and Demeter certification.