The fruits of an approach that began in 2017
The estate has been awarded “Terra Vitis – Agriculture Raisonnée” certification every year since 2001. Engaged in a major CSR approach, we achieved level 4 “Exemplary” following the AFAQ ISO 26000 assessment in 2018. A sticker is now placed on bottles to give visibility to the approach.
In 2017, beginning the transition to organic agriculture seemed to be the obvious choice, given our firm belief in Maison Gabriel Meffre's economic, environmental and societal development.
Transition in practice
The transition process requires three years of organic winegrowing and winemaking practices. Nicolas Sperenza, Maison Gabriel Meffre’s Estate Manager, oversaw the project at Domaine de Longue Toque.
“This transition involves specific work with the soil, as well as the use of organic fertiliser. We received significant assistance from France Agrimer to invest in high-performance, modern equipment, such as inter-vine cultivators, which work the soil while passing by the edges of the vines,” explains Nicolas.
"Chemical weedkillers are now totally out of the question and we have reviewed our definition of what a "weed" is! "
There is a greater amount of work to be carried out on the vines, requiring great precision according to the specificities of the soil, sunshine and rainfall. Happily, Domaine de Longue Toque is in a geographical and climate zone that favours organic transition.
Nicolas recalls an old saying among French winegrowers:
“It takes 40 lessons to become a winegrower; one each year”!
It reflects the painstaking work carried out by the teams, which involves treating each plot individually according to the soil, changing weather conditions and rainfall.
“It is not an exact science; it involves daily control and management.”
The definition of specifications is done in stages, with an annual inspection of vines and stocks.
- we no longer use weedkiller and it is a horse that ploughs the plots of the old Grenache vines,
- we no longer use any synthetic crop protection products,
- we use copper and sulphur as a fungicide (while remaining below the authorised limits).
With the recent acquisition of 11 hectares of the Cairanne AOC, Maison Gabriel Meffre has once again demonstrated its ambition to produce “engaged” wines. A new four-year organic transition period is beginning for this new plot.
Nicolas tells us that:
“It's a new challenge for us to meet! We must avoid being too greedy during this first year of the transition, so as not to rush the vines. By 2023, this plot will be perfectly integrated into Domaine de la Longue Toque following a successful organic transition!”
Maison Gabriel Meffre implements concrete and coherent actions with our CSR policy and our 2019 results are available online. We will release news of our sustainable development actions, including the preservation of massal selection, the creation of an educational trail and biodiversity promotion, in the very near future!