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WHY? Goals and Reasons of Organic Viticulture

The first goal of organic viticulture, more particularly for "Controlled appelation" vines, is to proposeto the consummer a wine of quality, typical of its origin and terroir, with ageing potential.
Secondly, the organic viticulture offers to the consummer healthy products. That is the reason why it refuses the use of chemicals fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and synthetic weedkillers.

Organic Logo
Another interest with organic viticulture is the respect of the environment and thus the battle against soil, water and air pollution. Indeed if the respect of the environment is beneficial for humans, it is also beneficial for plants. It enables the reappearance of vegetal, animal and microbial life in the soil which the organic Viticulture needs to succeed. For each living organism, there is a predator or an antagonist organism. Each species prevents the proliferation of another species. Thus the more space is occupied in the soil the less risk there is to have infestation of the soil by conquering and harmful bodies.
Finally, one of the results of organic culture especially for vines is to give back to the grapes a chemical balance, which enables the winemaker to vinify as naturally as possible. For example, in warm regions, with organic grapes the winemaker doesn't need acidify, when it is generally necessary.
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HOW? The Techniques and Means of Organic Viticulture

The fact the vinegrower does not use synthetic weedkiller means he has to plough. Ploughing forces the vineroots to go deep in the soil and not to extend horizontally at the surface to feed itself with chemical fertilizers used in conventionnal viticulture. The typicity of the terroir and appellation is therefore the major winner of organic viticulture.
One of the rules that is not written but is obvious to succeed in organic system is the control of yields. Indeed, particularly for viticulture, any excess of yieds leads to Phytosanitary risks: mildew, botrytis ou acid molds. One must respect the balance of the plant. The priority is given to quality and not quantity.
As far as phytosanitary measures, we use sulfer and copper (according to the authorised limits set by the organic viticulture), natural products (made with stinging nettles or presles) and natural compost containing antagonists micro-organisms. There are also some homoeopathic products which give good results. But, in any case, organic vinegrowers always say that after a few year using oragnic methods, the plants develop a natural defens system and become more resistant to mildiou or oïdiome attacks.
The chemical fertilizers being forbidden in the organic viticulture, the vinegrower has two possibilities: Crush vine shoots and let them on the soil as natural fertilizers or spread natural fertilizers, manure or any other natural composts.
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picture of the harvest in the vineyards

WHAT COSTS? The Costs of Organic Viticulture

The costs of organic viticulture are higher than in conventionnal viticulture for three reasons.
Firstly, the vinegrower needs to plough.The mecanical or thermic weekdilling between the vine stocks means investments and extra costs. Secondly, The phytosanitary protection to be efficient in organic viticulture requires numerous passages. Thus the phytosanitary treatments even if made with homeopathic dosage have to be made as a precautionary measure and consequently before any rain. During rainy vintage, they might take place often. Finally, with organic viticulture high yields are prohibited. Indeed a harvest with high yields surely leads to phytosanitary imbalance. Moreover with organic viticulture, one has to accept a partial loss because as we saw previously, the organic vinegrower lets the variety of species grow naturally, and therefore there are obvioulsy some waste. Today it is estimated that the price per kilo of grapes is 20% to 30% more expensive with organic viticulture compared to conventional viticulture.
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ecocert logo

WHICH GUARANTEES?

It is a certifying agent (such as Ecocert, France-qualité, etc...) which gives the guarantee that the vines were gorwn in the respect of organic viticulture. To certify a vinegrower, the agent verifies any purchase of vine treatment products, verifies the tracability of the wines from the vinification to the bottling. The agent can also at any time make analyses of the soil, cells of the vine leaves or wines.
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WHICH ALTERNATIVES?

As a supplement to organic rules, the vinegrower can also use more specific methods such as biodynamy or lunar-organic viticulture. The Domeniile Franco-Romane chose lunar-organic viticulture which is the most adapted considering that there are 40 hectares.
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Domeniile Franco-Române - TEL: +40(0)238.794.303 / +40(0)744.640.335- ADRESSE: Str Scolii, 143 - Sahateni Judetul de Buzau - Romania - EMAIL: crama.dvfr@yahoo.com