For Jean, in 1999, organic became the logical continuation of the cultural and plot selections efforts to seek the best expression of our terroirs. He initiated the approach trying to reconcile both expression of terroirs and environmental quality. Indeed, the wealth of our wildlife as well as the quality of the landscapes were of great importance for him. Only organic can reconcile agriculture with nature. In the years that followed, Bernard Bagy, Fabrice Guyot, Guillaume Kester and Hubert Heinrich joined the process. Today, more than 18 hectares are worked in organic farming. The traceability is total and certified by Ecocert to guarantee the respect of organic processes to the consumer.
Richness of terroirs and grape varieties
Our soil diversity is very important with a wide range of terroirs on granite, sandstone, marl, limestone, etc., in the villages from St Hippolyte in the north to Kientzheim in the south via Bergheim, Ribeauvillé and Hunawihr. The whole range of Alsatian grape varieties is present in this organic vineyard, as well as the unmissable Crémant and the famous Grands Crus “Rosacker” and “Schlossberg”.
Mastery of organic techniques
The natural cultivation of the vine leads to a full respect of its texture and structure that only soil organisms are able to optimize, the winemaker is only here to accompany this dynamic. The implementation of compost, green manure, rotational crops, etc. promotes by itself the establishment of a sustainable ecosystem. It has therefore been necessary to adapt traditional farming methods with modern machines and to streamline exchanges between vine growers to evolve rapidly. The use of herbal teas, macerations and purins of nettle, horsetail, comfrey, willow has therefore gradually grow, sometimes even for “non-organic” winemakers. As a result, the use of fungicides and sulfur has been significantly reduced. Indeed, vine diseases such as mildew and powdery mildew are particularly virulent with our European grape varieties, which make these treatments unavoidable for the moment. Thanks to the reductions of the quantity of fungicides used, the use of plants and adapted farming practices, useful fauna and flora quickly recolonises our vineyard. In addition to being technically and qualitatively effective, the approach is pleasant: flowers, hedges and trees now decorate our landscapes,… what a pleasure ! A better and deeper understanding of plants and soil eventually encourages us to leave a healthy land and soil for future generations.
Obviously, the harvest is fully manual
The harvest date is optimized according to the maturity of the grapes for each plot. The harvests therefore last a long time (often from late August to early November). But no matter the sacrifices, the quality of the grapes is there. The weather is often variable but with organic processes, the constraints of vintages are less marked because the vine is healthier. Obviously, the harvest is manual, as for almost all organic processes, and the need for manpower is very important. Organic farming requires an average of 30% extra working time.
Organic winemaking … logical!
Every process is entirely dedicated to the quality of the grapes, so that they arrive in best shape to the press and can release their juice by a slow and respectful pressing. The vinification gives a maximum respect to the grape must, allowing the juice precious time to decant calmly and extract the clear juice. It will then ferment at its own pace for several weeks or even months. Thanks to the experience of our oenologist Evelyne Dondelinger, interventions adapted to organic wines allow the optimal expression of terroirs in our wines. Very regular tastings along with the winemakers allow us to appreciate the evolution of the wines.