3/ The organic viticulture



     Since my start in 1988, I decided with my wife to work in organic viticulture. This choice was obvious to us because organic culture is in our eyes the most beneficial agriculture for everybody.
Our domain was one of the precursors in this sector because in 1988, 15 hectares (of which 3 ha for our domain) on the whole of the vineyard of Jura was certified in biology (0.75%) while today organic wine represent 15%.

Organic viticulture respect not only environment, but also product quality and health of the consumers.



        The vine in Organic agriculture is cultivated without chemical fertilizer, without weedkiller, without pesticides and without chemical fungicides. The soil are fertilized exclusively with composted fertilizers and organic amendments such as the horn (rich in nitrogen), composts or some split up wood.

The vine is protected as at the beginning of the century only in case of necessity against the mildew with Bordeaux mixture and against the oïdium with sulphur and from extracts of plants. Since a few years, I try hard to minimize my consumption of Bordeaux mixture and replace it with more natural remedies as the herb tea of stinging nettle, horsetail, wicker or still dandelion.

For me, the organic vine growing doesn't limit itself ton an absence of chemical treatments because to obtain strong vineyard and healthy grape at harvests and have a chance to realize a good wine, the vineyard soil must be worked (mechanically) all year long respectfully.

The organic wine grower must be more attentive to the evolution of the vine plants and to the work of his soil during the year at the risk of seeing decaying his domain on the long term (decrease of production volume, diseases apparition...) because the use of chemicals, it is true, brings a comfort in the work and the follow-up of the vineyard but it's at the detriment of the environment.


  First of all, the vine rests all winter long. Then, come mechanical grindings and the soil work to limit the proliferation of herbs. The grassing has a positive effect because it prevents the soil erosion of lands situated in hillsides during the frequent thunderstorms in our regions. This absence of grassing  in a conventional vineyard culture (use of weedkiller) tends to impoverish the soil of its nourishing wealth.

At the end of the winter, the vineyard is cut to prepare vines plant for the harvest to come. According to the vigour of each vine plant, one even two wooden rod are preserved to assure the fruiting of buds. These wooden rods are then attached in the shape of bow to facilitate the growths to come: it is the bonding.

Then, the nature and the sun work, leafs and first buds appear and then followed by the first clusters. Grapes get fat and mature little by little. This phase requires some works in the vineyard as the lifting and cut of the vine branch. They consist in the preservation of wood as well as in the cut of those become too long to assure the passage in vineyard rows.

 The work made all year long in vineyards , on soil, on vine plant as well as fruits guarantees a good quality of the grape during the grape harvests. A healthy grape is a necessary base for a wine of quality.


AN ORGANIC WINE MAKING - a request finally fulfilled...

    Finally comes the long-awaited moment of the grape harvests, results of the efforts of a whole year. In our domain, the grape harvests remained manual, although more expensive than the machine, to collect a healthy grape harvest and respect the whole cluster. The machine does not actually know how to sort out leaves and harvest or still sort out rotted grapes in case of rainy year.

All the wine grower job also consists in choosing the convenient moment of the grape harvests. Contrary to what takes place in certain big exploitations, in which everything must be planned in advance, I can choose the exact moment when I begin my grape harvests. I so have all the freedom to harvest when grapes present an optimal balance between acidity and sugar.

At these works succeed one of the most important stages, the wine making, because it is what condition the wine quality.

    The wine making is all the easier as grapes are healthy. If this condition is filled, we don't need to add other yeasts, which have developed naturally on the skin of grapes. For me, it represents an enormous asset because yeasts which have been introduced artificially are standardized, what leads to a taste standardization. On the contrary, natural yeasts allow the soil to express completely all its specificities. If I take for example my plot of land of Chardonnay, I know that she can give very different wines from one year to the next.

In my opinion, only organic culture confers to the wine this highly ''alive'' character.

    Since February 2012, a specification concerning organic wines exist and allow to certify our wines. It can seem surprising but until then only grapes were certified organic and the mention " wines stemming from organic farming grapes" was mentioned on bottles.
This incongruity is now corrected and our demand fulfilled. Indeed, it could harm the image and the quality of organic wines because the wine making was not certified!!!


        The organic farming is obviously submitted to rules and to strict and unexpected controls to avoid any drift. Our label " AB " is delivered by ECOCERT, independent body and certified by the State.

This body has the power to lead:
- surprise visits in the vineyard and installations,
- unannounced controls by takings in the plots of land,
- chemical analyses,
- controls on all the products entering on the exploitation...

It is after the check of the respect for all these rules that the organic label is delivered for one year. This one must be thus renewed every year.

The works of the vineyard are submitted to strict responsibilities and the philosophy can be summarized the following way:
 "Favored at the most the mechanical work of the vineyard to the chemical treatments."
    The new specifications concerning the wine making of organic wines frame in particular the use of the sulphur dioxide (SO2), stabilizer who prevents the wine oxidation. The sulphur dioxide must be always used in moderation. It is eliminated, indeed, with difficulty by the human body and very often at the origin of unpleasant headaches during the wine consumption. For my part, I use homeopathic doses of SO2, 5 times as low as authorized.