Our philosophy is based on respect for everything that we interact with.
The ecosystem : our entire vineyard is surrounded by an embankment of trees or by hedges with a view to protecting the local flora and fauna. Where possible, we use allow the natural vegetation to grow between the rows of vines and around the vineyard to prevent soil erosion and to ensure a natural aeration of the soil. Furthermore, this natural vegetation is an essential resource for the 20 bee hives that we installed in 2012. It is an essential link in the chain of biodiversity and testifies to our respectful methods of viticulture. When we replant vines we also use cover crops (green manure) and we spread compost on those plots to allow the soil to regenerate during a five year period.
Waste :today our farming activities have no negative impact upon the water table. We have a connection to the public drainage system for our viticultural effluents and we are equipped with a "phyto tank" to allow for the natural decomposition of our residual phytosanitary waste. This waste is sprayed onto a bed of soil and straw contained in airtight tanks; the closed recirculation system allows the micro-organisms in the biologically active soil layer to break down the active phytosanitary residue. Thanks to these measures we been certified a "Vineyard Supporting Sustainable Development".
The Workforce : Since 2008 we have the certification « responsible agriculture ». This certification is important to us, as it demonstrates to our customers that we respect all the French and European norms and regulations concerning the working and safety conditions of our employees, together with viticultural and oenological best practice.
In the Vineyard : Our vines are cultivated without undue mechanization: all work on the surrounding vegetation is done by hand, as is the grape harvest. The work is done carefully and gently. From year to year we are trying to be more and more respectful of the environment. With this aim in mind we have willingly signed up to be a member of the government's "ECOPHYTO" network. This network has as its target the reduction by 50% of the phytosanitary products used over a five year period. This network aims to implement decisions taken during the Grenelle Environment Round Table meetings. The results are already encouraging, since in the first year we have already reduced the use of such products by 30% - without any material reduction in the quality of the harvest, needless to say! In this way we hope to keep our old vines in good health for as long as possible. Currently the average age of our vines is 50 years.
In the Winery: Here we also try to be as respectful as possible of the grapes. Hence they are picked and sorted by hand into small stainless steel skips. Without crushing, they are then gently poured into vats using only gravity to avoid unnecessary damage to the grapes. They are fermented according to terroir and to grape variety in order to respect the differing levels of ripeness of the various batches. The temperature of the vats is then controlled extremely carefully and adapted to each different wine and each different year. The transfer of the grapes from the vats to the wine press is done manually and without a pump, the grapes being fed by gravity alone into the pneumatic wine press.
The wines are matured in steel or concrete vats for a minimum of 18 months to allow them to clarify naturally. They therefore have no need for fining and are only lightly filtered to preserve the optimum flavours and aromas. We also have wines that are matured in oak barrels for between 12 and 30 months; these wines have been produced from those terroirs with the greatest ageing potential and which require a period of micro-oxygenation before bottling. We ourselves undertake all blending and bottling using the very latest equipment and with an almost obsessive respect for all the steps that go into the process of making great wines.