Drink wine in accordance with your convictions! The Bergerac Duras vineyard and the environmental transition

Bergerac
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Today, I am taking you to the vineyards of Bergerac Duras. Do you have the Périgord Attitude, you pay attention to what you put on your plate , do you like well-made products as well as good? Let us continue this commitment even in our glasses and go to meet the winegrowers and the winegrowers , to understand the environmental transition in Bergerac Duras … What is it, how does the vine become more respectful of the environment and of people ?


What is an ecological vineyard?


Maintaining the vines in an eco-responsible manner means doing everything possible to limit the impact of activities linked to viticulture on the environment . Concretely, it means committing to the implementation of good practices , which will promote the protection of soil , air , water , users and end consumers . For the Bergerac Duras vineyard , it is already a way of working, a reality !

By talking with the winegrowers, I understand that the environmental transition of the vineyard does not happen in a snap. It is unfortunately not enough to stop using chemical inputs ! The vine is a perennial sarmentose shrub with high viticultural yield and with a life expectancy of 30 to 50 years. This is called a transition, because you have to gradually change your maintenance mode, to relearn how to produce by digging into your own reserves and capacities.

Meet the Bergerac Duras winegrowers

Meet the Bergerac Duras winegrowers

I also understand that it is not for pleasure that the winegrowers use phytosanitary products, today called into question ... Beyond a know-how that was forged around these practices (formerly considered as good practices, let's not forget!), they are subject to economic obligations, it is their job and the production of grapes results in the quantity and quality of the wine. But the change is underway! Encouraged by consumers (hello, it's us!) Who ask for organic wines, who proclaim our disapproval of the use of pesticides, the world of wine is changing and transforming, for its greater good and pleasure.

Working in such a beautiful environment encourages respect for it!

The winegrowers are the first concerned by respect for the environment, it is their profession, their nourishing land and their health that is at stake.

The levers of action for an ecological transition in the vineyard


Agroforestry: hedges between plots of vines? ? Agroforestry means creating a symbiosis between the tree, the animal and the crops. To promote biodiversity in the vineyard, the winegrowers allow hedges to form naturally and plant shrubs. These plant spaces are quickly colonized by insects , birds and small mammals such as hedgehogs. Hedges also help to moderate the effects of the climate , offering protection against the wind, limiting frost and erosion during heavy rains. Elementary!

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Hedges in the Domaine de la Brie
Hedges planted between the rows, in the Domaine de la Brie


Bat nesting boxes to limit vine diseases?
Did you know that the bat is a greedy mammal? In one night, its predatory power is formidable, it can eat from 1500 to 3000 insects. It is particularly fond of caterpillars and its action is effective against grapevine eudemi , caused by gray rot that sets in when the juice escapes from grapes perforated by the caterpillars to feed on them. By installing bat nesting boxes near the vineyard, we act on the protection of the colonies of these nocturnal mammals and we preserve the vine, smart!

Bees in the vines? The vine does not need the pollination work of bees , yet we see hives near the plots , why? Because the bee is a witness to the health of the environment it frequents! It forages in the grassy areas that the winegrowers leave around the plots and contributes to the balance of the ecosystem. Happy, we see it buzzing in spring and summer in the vineyards and you will find honey in the wine storehouses and cellars of the region… Gourmet idea!

Green manures or plant cover? As the vine cannot move from one plot to another every year, it needs the soil to be nourished to always find the necessary nutrients. The plant cover is a green manure used by the wine growers of Bergerac Duras, to amend the soil . By planting triticale (a grass), faba bean (a legume) or mustard (a crucifer), the soil is enriched with organic matter , which limits erosion, improves soil structure and fixes nitrogen and the minerals that the vine needs. Vegetation covers are often temporary and are either laid down, crushed or buried using agricultural machinery in the spring. By decomposing, they nourish the soil without puncturing the light between the rows of vines: practical!

Green manures at Château le Payral

Green manures at Château le Payral


Using pheromones to cause mating confusion?
Against grape worms , it is very effective ... If you see ribbons of red color or plates along the vine threads, it is not decoration, it is a reservoir of female hormones: pheromones . Diffused in the air, they disturb the males who can no longer locate the females, they can no longer mate: no eggs, no worms, no problems. There is no product to spray and it is very effective from one year to the next: you had to think about it!

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Music to help the vines? Nothing esoteric in this method to fight against certain diseases of the vine and particularly of its wood. The genodic is in the form of a box, which, installed in the plots at certain key moments in the seasonal development of the vine, will emit melodies (and therefore waves and frequencies ) which stimulate the secretion of proteins (of amino acid chains) to strengthen the vine's immune defenses . 60% fewer diseases: if the process seems curious, it is nonetheless useful!

Pheromones to cause mating confusion and limit predators
Pheromones to cause mating confusion and limit vine predators


The chickens, the sheep and soon the cows between the rows of vines. By placing sheep and hens between the rows of vines, winegrowers benefit from the addition of organic matter produced directly on site, from an improvement in the structure of the soil thanks to the gentle trampling of the animals and from a weeding power. phenomenal!

And when the hens are not invited to peck, it's TED the Straddle Robot , which with its " feather " weight, too, independently weeds the rows of vines and more if affinity ...

Sheep and chickens in the vineyards of Bergerac Duras Sheep and chickens in the vineyards of Bergerac Duras
Sheep and chickens in the vineyards of Bergerac Duras

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Programs, certifications and labels for committed viticulture!

To bring all these actions in a more formal setting, some winemakers adhere to labellings programs and / or certifications. More engaging , official and valued on the shelves of cellars and supermarkets, these actions are thus really highlighted!

If more than 60% of the farms in our vineyard are committed to an environmental approach, more than 35% of the surfaces of the Bergerac Duras vineyard are certified organic , biodynamic or HVE (42% of the winegrowers of La Route des Vins). Within 4 years, it is expected that 100% of farms will be involved in this type of process!

VitiREV: A project on the scale of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, for viticulture that respects the environment. The wines of Bergerac Duras entered this large-scale movement at the beginning of 2019, by creating a Territorial Innovation Laboratory: La Fabrique des transitions en Bergeracois. The goal? Do without pesticides by 2030! First milestones set in 2019:

  • Robotic experimentation with TED mechanical weeding in the vineyards of Monbazillac
  • Creation of a territory of High Environmental Value in the Pécharmant
  • Network of weather stations in the vineyards to limit and reason the use of often climate-dependent phytosanitary products.
  • A pilot project around agroforestry, a new production model.

>> Are you interested, would you like to know more? La Fabrique des Transitions en Bergeracois on Facebook will give you all the information!

High Environmental Value is a national label which aims to increase the environmental performance of farms by observing several criteria such as biodiversity, the use of phytosanitary products, resource management (water, but not only), soil fertilization, etc.

Terra Vitis is a label that you often hear under the name of reasoned or sustainable viticulture. Protection of natural resources, the vitality of the soil… Terra Vitis also appeals to winegrowers because it deals with the entire aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility: we think of the wine-growing entity also from the point of view of employees and consumers.

Organic Agriculture is a label that respects two regulations: that of the cultivation of the vine according to the methods of organic farming and that of organic winemaking. Because growing grapes organically is not enough, we must also be interested in all the production of wine from grape juice, fermentation, bottling etc.

Demeter: it is a label of biodynamic agriculture. It is an additional approach to AB, which is called holistic: we engage a vision of the plant in its environment, by revitalizing the soil, by strengthening the interaction between the plant and the animal and through respect. cycles of nature (the moon for example).

To go even further while respecting the environment and consumers ...

The vine is a living being ! It evolves, transforms itself in reaction to its environment . All plants adapt to their ecosystem naturally, but the vine, which since the appearance of phylloxera has been systematically planted on a rootstock and cuttings , has little room for improvement… Resistant grape varieties are quite simple a work of crossing and genetic selection , to arrive at grape varieties that defend themselves against the main attacks: downy mildew and powdery mildew in particular. The goal: to no longer treat, not at all! The plant is autonomous and ready to face the challenges of global warming ... To be continued ...

Grape varieties Resistant to Château les Grinous

Grape varieties Resistant to Château les Grinous

To know more

  • Don't forget to go to la Vinata, the big party for Bergerac Duras wine lovers. This beautiful festival marks the start of the wine tourism season
  • All summer long, in the vineyard, activities take place to invite you to discover the vineyards, the vintages and the winegrowers that are our pride!
  • See you on the Périgord Attitude website!
The vines are so close to the villages that the stakes are twofold!
The vines are so close to the villages that the stakes are twofold!

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