The methods of biodynamic agriculture as practiced by the Domaine
This may seem evident to some, but even so, many vignerons ignore the fact that “everything depends on the vine.”
It is wishful thinking to suppose that you can significantly improve the intrinsic quality of the juice or of the wines during the vinification, or later: one can only try to retain the potential of the grapes. To go further in the search for the expression of aromas, fruit and terroir, we have adopted, in addition to organic culture, the principles of biodynamic agriculture.
In practice, the high quality of a vintage
is the result of:
The special attention given to the soil and the vines.
“It is important to understand
the nature of the different soils on which the vines grow, in order
to tend them and to work properly.”
The management of the weeds (wrongly called mauvaises herbes) is also done by hoeing, so that they are not in competition with the vines.
We never use synthetic fungicides, insecticides or weed-killers because chemical products destroy the secret life in the soil and alter the microbial activity, leading to compacting of the soil, to the detriment of the roots of the vines.
The use of tisanes (*horsetail, osier, *stinging nettle) increases the effectiveness of the treatments and is beneficial to the vine.
The spreading of *Marie Thun cow dung compost in autumn and spring improves and accelerates the humidification of the organic matter
The use in spring of *product 500 or *product 500P (cow dung that has been buried in cow horns over winter) helps the soil to revive and to become restructured, thus improving its breathing and fermenting functions.
Lastly, before the flowering of the vine, the use of *product 501 (silica of cow’s horn) helps the development of photosynthesis and improves the structure of the vines.
*specific to biodynamic agriculture
For more information see the internet site biodyvin on the last page.
The control of vegetation and yield :
“For the best results, the vines must be in balance to be able to spread and grow in their natural rhythm and not to excess, in soil that is full of life. Thus, the plant will give of its best. “
The best solution for controlling yield is sharp pruning in winter that naturally reduces the eventual number of bunches of grapes on the vine.
Vigour is closely linked to fertility and therefore yield.
- When we plant new vines we use cuttings with low vigour, in general, mainly from sélections massales, which increase the biodiversity, in contrast with clones.
- The density of planting must be high (between 5500 and 7800 vines per hectare). This makes each vine compete with its neighbours and encourages its roots to search much deeper for water and nutriment and to discover all the complexity of its terroir.
These methods contribute to the preservation of the environment and the perpetuity of the vignoble.