We use traditional methods and organic and biodynamic agriculture.
Our vineyards are primarily exposed south and southwest, with some facing north (where we have planted our Syrah vines). These vines are on what were once terraces of the Rhône river, and we are lucky enough to have a remarkable view of the whole valley: the Trois Becs, the Lance, Mount Ventoux, the Dentelles de Montmirail, the Alpilles, etc.
The soils of our Côte du Rhône parcels are composed of clay and limestone with some rocks. For our wines that are classified as Côte du Rhône Villages, however, the terroir is uniquely that of large round river rocks and red clay.
The average age of our vines is fairly high, at about 30 years old.
We chose organic and biodynamic agriculture methods and endeavor to maintain the balance of nature. Our soils are plowed and hoed: we never use weed killers. Our vines have always been organic and we are certified both by Ecocert and Demeter. This approach, inspired and first implemented by our parents, springs from our desire to tend to our vines while respecting the rhythm of nature.
We decided to orient ourselves fully towards biodynamics starting in the autumn of 2005 with our Demeter certification. And in November 2006, our handsome workhorse Nestor came to help plow and turn the soil in our vineyards.
Our vines are pruned in the gobelet (goblet) style. This is the traditional pruning method for the southern part of France known as the “Midi.” It is this particular way of training our vines that will allow them to last for years to come.
In the spring, we systematically de-bud by hand in all of our parcels in order to limit yields at an earlier stage in the vine’s growth. We will also green harvest at the end of July if it’s necessary.
We start harvest in early September, beginning in the parcels that ripen earliest (they have a nice exposition and are sheltered from the strong southern winds). Harvest is done exclusively by hand and our team is trained to select only the healthiest grapes from each vineyard to go into our wines.
“Organic-dynamic” agriculture (bio-dynamique in French) was created in 1924 and was actually the first official agricultural method that could be described as organic by today’s standards.
This is not natural agriculture in the sense that it is a return to nature. It is an attempt to understand and respect the laws of nature as much as possible in agricultural practices: it concerns both agronomic and biological aspects of agriculture.
Biodynamics is also concerned with the dynamic side of nature, “δυϑαμις” in Greek meaning strength, power, and even (according to Xenophon) fertility. (Which makes it especially relevant to agriculture and viticulture!).
According to Biodynamics, the natural phenomena that we observe are not, in reality, simply surface-level occurrences. There exist in nature living, organic, psychological, and spiritual relationships between the different natural kingdoms. Biodynamics uses infinitesimal quantities of galvanized substances on the soil, plants, and animals. It also includes the study and consideration of the impact of cosmic influences on the earth, but beyond light and solar heat. For example, in addition to the great seasonal and daily solar cycles, the influences of the moon, planets, and stars are also taken into account.
For more information, go to: https://www.biodynamics.com/, http://www.demeter.net/, or http://www.biodynamie-services.fr/en/