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Writing the story

The conversion of Château Anthonic to organic viticulture officially started in August 2016. The conversion lasts three years, during which all practices and techniques are fully organic. However, the certification is still some way off, not before vintage 2019.

Thus, an exciting story begins, and is being recorded day by day, through our methods and with our team.

We wish to share with you as they unfold, the chapters of our adventure, and the implications of our conversion to the organic way of living.

Our communication is home-made, our photos and our videos are improvised as we work: there are no special effects!

To treat the vine: problematic and organic option (PART 1)
Ajouté le 31 07 2017

   It’s a fact: diseases able to harm the vines do exist since the end of the 19th century. In the region of Bordeaux, the oceanic climate make the vine particularly sensitive to fungal diseases, mildew and powdery mildew, that are microscopic fungus affecting the leaves and/or the grapes.

   The vines must thus be treated; if not, there is no crop.

   The conventional option (that is not-organic) favours chemical treatments known as “systemic”, what means that they get into the sap of the plant. These products have an action on the plant for 15 days; thereafter, they must be renewed.

   The organic viticulture use only products that don’t stem from the chemical synthesis (for example the traditional “Bordeaux mixture”) and that are “contact products”, what means that they stay and protect the leaves and the grapes until they are “washed out” by an important rain.

   In the organic way, the frequency of treatments depends thus on the weather (more often, if they are more “washing out” rains) and on the stage of the growth of the vines (you should treat as long as new leaves come). If the summer is dry, it’s therefore useless to renew the protection when the growth of the vines is stabilized, that is, in general, end of July.

Emmanuel Chety, the new mister organic of Anthonic
Ajouté le 12 06 2017

 After 16 years of rigorous work at château Anthonic, Jean-Bernard Despatures, our technical manager, leaves us to become one of the partners of a winery in Belgium. He made possible our conversion to organic viticulture thanks to his precise knowledge of our vines and terroir and thanks to his enthusiasm. Thank you!

 Welcome to Emmanuel Chety who succeeds him. Emmanuel is a very curious man, always wishing to learn more and to get more training, and above all he is passionate about organic viticulture, that he knows well, as he has been practicing it for more than 6 years on the 40ha winery of his family.

 His experience will be precious for Anthonic during the delicate period of the conversion to organic.

Facing the damage of the frost with the organic attitude
Ajouté le 17 05 2017

 The frost ravaged almost 100% of our vineyard. Looking forward to the resumption of the activity of the vines and, perhaps, the emergence of new buds, what can we do?

 With Albane Bervas, our adviser for the organic, we discover the “organic-attitude”. Albane explains us that the vines, after such a stress, need the benevolent and friendly hand of the human being. She recommends us to have compassion for the vines and to trust them. This BIODYNAMIC APPROACH fill us with wonder. We understand that the conversion to organic is not only a paradigm shift (from healing to prevention); it’s also a life philosophy.

 In concrete terms, we’ve to be kindly in spirit with the vines and take care of their stress and our stress with the same infusion of valerian (see the picture!).

Organic or not, the same helplessness in front of the frost
Ajouté le 28 04 2017

 

The sexual confusion
Ajouté le 13 04 2017

 This year we initiate at château Anthonic sexual confusion. No obscenity but a good practice to avoid the use of insecticide against the worm of the cluster.

 Capsules scattered in the vineyard emit pheromones which cause confusion among the butterflies. Males and females of the 2 species laying on the vine are no longer able to locate them, which limits their reproduction. The bosses larvae on bunches are so limited. This avoids the driving of grains by the caterpillars and the problems of grey rot likely to settle on these wounds.

 At the end of the season the unsightly capsules are recovered.

In winter, what's new with the conversion?
Ajouté le 03 01 2017

  In fact, the conversion to organic viticulture has no impact on the usual work of the vines in winter, except that we prune them on a plowed soil. Now like before, the pruning work, with a careful respect of the structure of the vine stocks, keeps our team busy for nearly 4 months.

  The only effect of our conversion came oddly from our insurance agent, when we concluded our insurance against hail and frost. His reaction was timid and cautious. The discussion went about the potential increased risks due to the new way of growing.

  But, as always between people of good faith, we ended up finding a solution satisfactory for all.

 

Albane Bervas, our consultant for the conversion to organic
Ajouté le 08 12 2016

 To help us in the fundamental change of the conversion, we appeal to Albane Bervas, a specialist in organic viticulture.

 She comes to château Anthonic each month to watch our vines.

 Thanks to her experience and her passion for organic, she makes recommendations on the aspects we should pay attention to keep our vines healthy and surrounded by a living nature (fauna and flora).

Goodbye herbicides, hello hard work!
Ajouté le 16 11 2016

 The terroir of Château Anthonic is of clay-limestone. In these heavy soils, de-grassing was mainly necessary to enable the tractors to pass through the vineyards after rain.

 We rapidly evolved towards a natural grassing over between the rows in order to minimise herbicide use, which remained directly under the rootstocks only.

 From Autumn 2016 therefore, our organic conversion resulted in a return to fully working the soils under the vines.

 And now: action!

 

Organic put simply
Ajouté le 14 10 2016

 Understanding the conversion to organic viticulture engages a fundamental change, which could be expressed simply as a paradigm shift from healing to prevention.

 We abandon the logic of caring for our vines when they are sick, and we enter into a dynamic where our vines naturally regain their resistance to disease.

 The conversion period is therefore critically important because it is when the vine, deprived of synthesised chemical ‘help’, must rebuild its natural defences.

 It is a change of position, somewhat like the Little Owl we found in our son Henri’s room, with its head pointing to the floor!

Writing the story

The conversion of Château Anthonic to organic viticulture officially started in August 2016. The conversion lasts three years, during which all practices and techniques are fully organic. However, the certification is still some way off, not before vintage 2019.

Thus, an exciting story begins, and is being recorded day by day, through our methods and with our team.

We wish to share with you as they unfold, the chapters of our adventure, and the implications of our conversion to the organic way of living.

Our communication is home-made, our photos and our videos are improvised as we work: there are no special effects!

To treat the vine: problematic and organic option (PART 1)
Ajouté le 31 07 2017

   It’s a fact: diseases able to harm the vines do exist since the end of the 19th century. In the region of Bordeaux, the oceanic climate make the vine particularly sensitive to fungal diseases, mildew and powdery mildew, that are microscopic fungus affecting the leaves and/or the grapes.

   The vines must thus be treated; if not, there is no crop.

   The conventional option (that is not-organic) favours chemical treatments known as “systemic”, what means that they get into the sap of the plant. These products have an action on the plant for 15 days; thereafter, they must be renewed.

   The organic viticulture use only products that don’t stem from the chemical synthesis (for example the traditional “Bordeaux mixture”) and that are “contact products”, what means that they stay and protect the leaves and the grapes until they are “washed out” by an important rain.

   In the organic way, the frequency of treatments depends thus on the weather (more often, if they are more “washing out” rains) and on the stage of the growth of the vines (you should treat as long as new leaves come). If the summer is dry, it’s therefore useless to renew the protection when the growth of the vines is stabilized, that is, in general, end of July.

Emmanuel Chety, the new mister organic of Anthonic
Ajouté le 12 06 2017

 After 16 years of rigorous work at château Anthonic, Jean-Bernard Despatures, our technical manager, leaves us to become one of the partners of a winery in Belgium. He made possible our conversion to organic viticulture thanks to his precise knowledge of our vines and terroir and thanks to his enthusiasm. Thank you!

 Welcome to Emmanuel Chety who succeeds him. Emmanuel is a very curious man, always wishing to learn more and to get more training, and above all he is passionate about organic viticulture, that he knows well, as he has been practicing it for more than 6 years on the 40ha winery of his family.

 His experience will be precious for Anthonic during the delicate period of the conversion to organic.

Facing the damage of the frost with the organic attitude
Ajouté le 17 05 2017

 The frost ravaged almost 100% of our vineyard. Looking forward to the resumption of the activity of the vines and, perhaps, the emergence of new buds, what can we do?

 With Albane Bervas, our adviser for the organic, we discover the “organic-attitude”. Albane explains us that the vines, after such a stress, need the benevolent and friendly hand of the human being. She recommends us to have compassion for the vines and to trust them. This BIODYNAMIC APPROACH fill us with wonder. We understand that the conversion to organic is not only a paradigm shift (from healing to prevention); it’s also a life philosophy.

 In concrete terms, we’ve to be kindly in spirit with the vines and take care of their stress and our stress with the same infusion of valerian (see the picture!).

Organic or not, the same helplessness in front of the frost
Ajouté le 28 04 2017

 

The sexual confusion
Ajouté le 13 04 2017

 This year we initiate at château Anthonic sexual confusion. No obscenity but a good practice to avoid the use of insecticide against the worm of the cluster.

 Capsules scattered in the vineyard emit pheromones which cause confusion among the butterflies. Males and females of the 2 species laying on the vine are no longer able to locate them, which limits their reproduction. The bosses larvae on bunches are so limited. This avoids the driving of grains by the caterpillars and the problems of grey rot likely to settle on these wounds.

 At the end of the season the unsightly capsules are recovered.

In winter, what's new with the conversion?
Ajouté le 03 01 2017

  In fact, the conversion to organic viticulture has no impact on the usual work of the vines in winter, except that we prune them on a plowed soil. Now like before, the pruning work, with a careful respect of the structure of the vine stocks, keeps our team busy for nearly 4 months.

  The only effect of our conversion came oddly from our insurance agent, when we concluded our insurance against hail and frost. His reaction was timid and cautious. The discussion went about the potential increased risks due to the new way of growing.

  But, as always between people of good faith, we ended up finding a solution satisfactory for all.

 

Albane Bervas, our consultant for the conversion to organic
Ajouté le 08 12 2016

 To help us in the fundamental change of the conversion, we appeal to Albane Bervas, a specialist in organic viticulture.

 She comes to château Anthonic each month to watch our vines.

 Thanks to her experience and her passion for organic, she makes recommendations on the aspects we should pay attention to keep our vines healthy and surrounded by a living nature (fauna and flora).

Goodbye herbicides, hello hard work!
Ajouté le 16 11 2016

 The terroir of Château Anthonic is of clay-limestone. In these heavy soils, de-grassing was mainly necessary to enable the tractors to pass through the vineyards after rain.

 We rapidly evolved towards a natural grassing over between the rows in order to minimise herbicide use, which remained directly under the rootstocks only.

 From Autumn 2016 therefore, our organic conversion resulted in a return to fully working the soils under the vines.

 And now: action!

 

Organic put simply
Ajouté le 14 10 2016

 Understanding the conversion to organic viticulture engages a fundamental change, which could be expressed simply as a paradigm shift from healing to prevention.

 We abandon the logic of caring for our vines when they are sick, and we enter into a dynamic where our vines naturally regain their resistance to disease.

 The conversion period is therefore critically important because it is when the vine, deprived of synthesised chemical ‘help’, must rebuild its natural defences.

 It is a change of position, somewhat like the Little Owl we found in our son Henri’s room, with its head pointing to the floor!

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