Reducing the use of chemicals

Impressive results

Our winegrowers always pay a great deal of attention to the health of their vines. Protecting the harvest can be a complex issue, depending on the climate conditions throughout the year and the associated threat of disease. The use of pesticides must therefore be justified according to the sector and the year. We have been using the IFT – Indicator of Frequency of Treatment – for the past two years. This indicator introduced by the French government allows us to keep a precise record of the number of reference doses used per hectare. Thanks to this, along with the fact that winegrowers are constantly reassessing their practices, the results speak for themselves. Each of the two wineries are well below the average IFT values for Burgundy, despite using different agricultural practices (tall, wide vines for Nuiton-Beaunoy and low-level vines for Terres Secrètes). The objective is to continue reducing our impact!

Lowering our energy consumption

Clean energy, produced locally

With a total surface area of 1765m2 (1062 solar panels), we produce enough energy to power 152 homes. With these unique facilities, our winery is the first in Burgundy to produce its own electricity, accounting for almost 40% of its annual energy consumption. Local workmen installed the panels, which were made by a French manufacturer. An eco-meter installed in front of the cellar means that everyone can see the direct impact of our energy production. The project costs € 388,000 to install and annual savings are estimated at € 43,400, which gives our winery better control over its operating expenses so that it can continue to invest in environmentally friendly production.

A cooperative mindset

Developing Organic Agriculture

Working the soil, measuring and reducing the use of chemicals, using plant cover….our winegrowers implement a number of actions to ensure sustainable wine production. Some of them have decided to go even further by embarking on the process towards converting their land to organic farming. The Vignerons des Terres Secrètes have even set up their own SCEV (Société Civile d’Exploitation Viticole), a cooperative group that has been certified organic, to facilitate and secure changes to winegrowing practices within this SCEV. A total of 23 ha (57 acres) of land is currently being converted to organic farming in appellations from both wineries, including Mâcon-Villages, Saint-Véran and Hautes-Côtes de Beaune. Vineyard floor management is carried out without herbicides, using organic products in low quantities. The winegrowers committed to this approach work together, constantly analysing their practices and promoting a cooperative mindset through their strong commitment to the environment.

Protect our soil

Thanks to plant cover

This blend of three of the main plant families – leguminous (peas, clover), cruciferous (mustard, rape, etc.) and grasses (rye, etc.) – is planted in autumn between the rows of vines and has a number of benefits. It provides (almost) permanent coverage of the soil, which reduces run-off and erosion, recycles mineral products, increases the percentage of organic matter in the soil, improves structure and protects the most fragile soils. It encourages biological activity and wildlife, limits the presence of weeds, as well as the use of herbicides of course. And so, when spring comes, a multitude of plants grow alongside the vines.

Reducing sulphites

A response adapted to consumer demands

Sulphites are now classed as allergens and have been used in wine production ever since the 18th century to help to preserve the wine. For several years now, we have been cutting back as much as possible on the use of sulphites, with some wines now being produced without any added sulphites at all.