The concept of biodynamics, with which Pierre Masson inspired us at the end of the 1990s, first had to take root in our minds, before permeating, little by little, all the soils in our vineyard some fourteen years later. In all, nearly fifteen years of effort were required to achieve the holy grail that is Demeter certification.
The hardest part was not, contrary to what we imagined, freeing our land from the traces of the chemical inputs that had been too liberally used for years; nor was it making the decision to understand the revolutionary techniques of biodynamics and the use of biodynamic preparations; no, in reality the most difficult job was to shift our benchmarks, to purify our minds. Everything had to be reconsidered: the way we worked, the way we fought diseases, the organsation of the vineyard, our winemaking techniques and finally, accepting inevitable additional production costs, with, at the year’s end, the guarantee of rather moderate yields.
Some Techniques and Practices
We regularly use horn dung (500p), silica (501), and other herbal teas (horsetail, burdock, meadowsweet, nettles, etc.), which we “dynamise” (stirring them one way then the other for at least 30 minutes in a copper cauldron) before spraying them to treat our vineyard.
By accompanying these preparations with whey, our years of experience place us in a position from which we can confidently state that we fight effectively against diseases, that our vines are resistant and that our harvests are of more regular quality.
We maintain a permanent herbaceous cover, aerating and rolling this green cover throughout the year to preserve the essential balance of life in the ground (as the grasses decompose, they add nutrients necessary for soil life). We also spread manure in the autumn.
We do not plough, but do have to hoe around the vines manually. Our soil smells so good! Our vines are home to a great diversity of insects and the earthworms which proliferate and are a clear sign of the good balance of our soils.
The Lunar Calendar
All our work is done in accordance with the lunar calendar. The winegrower’s every move is amplified on a good day!
Of course, after all this attentive work in the vines, we nurture our wines with the same diligence in the cellars.
For 25 years now, we have focused on selecting our own plants and rediscovering the heritage Franche-Comtois grape varieties from before phylloxera. The dedicated “massal selection” work (reproducing our plants with cuttings from the best vines) that we have been practising for all these years allows us to proudly assert that we are the guardians of a unique reserve of heritage grape varieties which will perhaps one day contribute to making our nursery a conservatory for studying vine plants.