After a few decades serving organic agriculture (since 1970), as we were sliding from market gardening to viticulture, we have never wavered in the validity of this technique.
Acting with responsability as well as passion is a long-term job and the results are up to that expectation. The Clos de la Bonnette was abandoned after the 2nd WW. From the land clearing to replanting, it has always been organic and has never received weedkillers.
Regarding the sanitary conditions are concerned, the vineyard benefits from the excellent wind-chill factor/ventilation of the Rhone Valley, and by the naturel environment of thickets and woods that favours its biological balance. No insecticides on the winery !
The struggle against fungal diseases powdery mildew, mildew involves drastic prophylactic measures : ground work, carefull spreading of leaves, control of vigour. Copper and sulfur, though agreed in organic farming, are only used in low doses and at a last resort.
Organic certification : our winery is audited by AB Certification (Organic Agriculture Certification) and ECOCERT.
Adapting organic viticulture to the inherent working difficulties of the hillside represents a real challenge. Any classical mechanisation as well as the help of a workhorse are impossible because of the steep slopes and the very narrow terraces. We favour a varied environment around and in the vine. However, the hydric stress due to the sun exposure and to the type of soil prohibits the growth of rival weeds under the vine plant in growing season.
To be able to work in the contour line shaped vineyard and thus, get weeds under control, a special tool really adapted to the winery had to be adjusted. Handcrafted and very efficient, it allows us to get a satisfactory result without « breaking » the structure of the ground. The finishing work is done with a pickaxe.
That’s how we obtain a soft and living soil without erosion problems. Naturally, this benefits to the viognier vine stocks which are stuck on props « as in the old days » ; but the plants and animals that contribute to the balance of the vineyard also enjoy it.