A respect for nature and environment
Accordingly, one of our must criteria
in the choice of the plant health products are their innocuousness
on auxiliary fauna, their accumulation in the ground and their
spread by surface waters.
This protection of the ground and its
biomass and its resulting health of the vineyard is indissociable
with respect to the soil, and defines, among other things, the
microflore and microfaune associated specifically with a given
ground and terroir.
It is this ground which must nourish the
plant. This mechanism is improved by working the ground, thus
supporting the physical and biological systems necessary to this
In the contrary case, where the ground is not worked,
one is constrained to nourish the plant by use of artificial
fertilizers, because the ground - packed and asphyxiated - cannot
fulfill this function completely.
For these same reasons, it
is obvious that an exogenic contribution to the vineyard soil
or the modification of the natural composition of the ground
goes against the true expression of the terroir.
In addition to the ground, the respect and maintenance of the plant
constitute the next point of concern.
An ethic of production
The plant is primarily the result of
the characteristics of the soil, the climate and the microclimate.
The action of man on these factors can go in the direction of
the plant, by supporting its blooming, its growth and its longevity
or completely in its opposition, if interested only in its productivity.
This attention paid to the plant starts with the choice of variety
of vine, of the clonal selection (within which the choice of
the clones, in order to avoid a standardization of clonal choice
which is essential) or visual selection of wild vineplants, and
of course of the rootstock (which is in itself an inevitable
These choices make it possible to adapt the plant
to its environment for a long time, but especially to adapt the
production of the vine according to its situation, so that it
does not suffer too greatly and become exhausted with an excessive
production of grapes.
However, it is natural that the expression
of the plant varies from one year to another. It is necessary
to answer these fluctuations in an adapted way. Meticulous care
- careful pruning, well reasoned diseases protection, such as
for the choices of the plant health products, but also as for
the interval between the treatments according to climatic conditions
- contribute to obtaining healthy grapes, including precursors
of flavors and other complex molecules, to which one can assign
to the typicity of certain soils.
For that, it is necessary to
leave to the plant the possibility of working out these molecules,
for which photosynthesis is a paramount element.
An optimization of the plant with respect
to its environment
When one talks about terroir, one thinks
soil, but the soil is not only what is in the terroir. Admittedly
the roots of the vine draw the necessary elements to the development
of the plant, the soil has characteristics physical and chemical
appreciably different, which makes it possible to identify them
and to talk about " terroir ", but the environment
and the energy which receives this soil are fundamental.
Lhe first thing which surprises the
winemakers from areas other than Burgundy is the small size of
the vines. At our Domaine, we have for several years taken to
increasing the height of topping and trimming to 1.30-2.40 meters
for the following reasons :
- The more foliage there is, the more energy
of the sun is collected by the plant. The increase in the sugar
level in the grapes is the first objective.
- Photosynthesis improves the color of the
skin of the grape and, consequently, improves the color of the
- The wines produced from grapes resulting
from vines having significant leaf areas are suppler due to a
better maturation of the tanins.
- The plant, having a greater metabolism, is
generally healthier and thus more resistant to unfavorable climatic
Under these conditions, maturity can
easily be more than a week ahead of vines trained lower. This
is an asset if the off-season is favorable but can be a disadvantage
if the rains of September arrive a little too early.
A search for quality by constant questions.
The harvest must preserve, to the longest
possible time, the integrity of the fruit in order to preserve
In the same way, the extraction should not be
pushed too much to respect the characteristics of the year, and
to avoid a linearity of the wines, which runs completely opposite
with the concept of terroir.
The Domaine maintains a traditional
winemaking, while employing the means of controlling and of intervening
on the factors which are likely to involve not desired deviations
in the evolution of the wines (control of the temperatures of
winemaking and rigorous hygiene).
Our progress of knowledge of
the processes of fermentation makes it possible to use modern
means placed at our disposal to create wines of quality, despite
difficulties encountered in some years. The respect for tradition
and grape, whose quality before any transformation is essential,
makes it possible to obtain a typified wine, which reflects the
characteristics of its terroir.
All of these factors must be present
in the spirit of the vine grower during all the tasks which it
will carry out throughout the life of the vine and winemaking
which will result, if it is to express, through this wine, this
concept of terroir which must be so cherished in Burgundy.