Respecting the environment has always been a top priority at the Domaine de la Vougeraie, where vines have been cultivated according to biodynamic principles since 1999. Biodynamic cultivation goes one step beyond organic cultivation and can be defined as a practice that seeks to reinforce life through “dynamized” natural elements. The aim is to find a balance between soil, plant and man to bring out the best of the terroir. It requires a great deal of time as all preparations are hand-made and applied to the vines in the same way. Biodynamic cultivation is currently applied to the whole estate’s vineyard.
Biodynamic cultivation aims to promote life in the soil where the vine sends down its roots and where everything starts. It is about encouraging biodiversity and increasing the number of microorganisms in the soil that break down the organo-mineral elements so the plant can assimilate them. It promotes vigorous vines that are healthier and more disease-resistant, and in which the grapes carry an imprint of the terroir, which is enhanced and translated into the wine – a “pure” wine.
The work rhythm is guided by the seasons and the planets. Two treatments are combined: plant infusions and dynamized organic and mineral-based preparations.
This is, without doubt, the most esoteric part of the concept and the most difficult to explain scientifically. However, the benefits of this process have been demonstrated in many studies. Twenty years ago, agriculturist Claude Bourguignon revealed the benefits of this practice with the presence of twice as many microorganisms in soil cultivated according to biodynamic principles. The “dynamizer”, or stirring machine, loads biodynamic preparations with magnetic and cosmic energies to make them effective. It mixes in alternate directions for ten seconds at a time for twenty minutes, creating a kind of chaos in the preparation.