Our organic and biodynamic philosophy opens up a whole world of new practices that enable us to continue to take care of our vineyard in the most natural way possible.
For example, we are planting cereals (wheat, barley, oats etc.) between the rows of vines that not only aerate the soil but also enrich it with fibre and micro-organisms when they are ploughed back in as a green fertilizer. To help reduce the excess water present in some plots, we planted sunflowers to provide a gentle form of drainage. Natural solutions also exist to combat vineyard pests such as grape worms, the larvae of a butterfly which pierces the grape and causes grey rot. We have been using mating disruption: capsules containing molecules of female pheromones are placed every metre in each row of vines (by hand!) thereby disrupting the mating behaviour of the male butterflies and preventing them from finding females to mate with, hence avoiding eggs being laid in the grapes and the emergence of the grape worms. To complement this already effective method, we also installed trichogramma capsules several weeks ago, these tiny oophagous wasps lay their larvae in the grape worm eggs, the larvae then destroy the eggs as they grow, preventing a new generation of the butterflies from hatching.
And this is only the beginning, other natural methods are being developed that work with nature and are environmentally friendly.