Domaine de La Jariette
2022 sees exciting times here at La Jariette, where we're busy creating a brand new organic vineyard.
La Jariette was built by a successful vigneron over 100 years ago, and vines flourished locally. The Great French Wine Blight was a severe disease that destroyed many of the vineyards in our region, and subsequent government incentives encouraged local farmers to turn their land over to other crops.
With a view to restoring integral original features of our manoir, we decided to return its land to vines. Having already enjoyed consecutive successful harvests from our own chemical-free, organic vegetable garden, we decided to carry this approach into our vineyard project.
Having completed a course in biodynamic wine making and following expert advice, this autumn we planted over 1000 vines of the latest French AOC approved disease resistant varieties, namely Floreal, Vidoc and Artaban. These vines lend themselves to our organic approach using additional biodynamic principals to enhance the health and quality of the vineyard. Our aim is to produce great quality organic still and Pet Nat wines that will be available to purchase direct on site and in local shops. Watch this space!
We were lucky enough to have Jon's daughters over just in time to cover the field with well-rotted cow manure, an important element in creating the right environment to grow healthy vines. This manure spent the winter settling and was then ploughed into the soil in March 2022.
In order to encourage greater biodiversity we planted over 33 different varieties of wild flower around the perimeter of our vineyard.
Our grapes will benefit from a diverse range of insects in several ways: greater biodiversity helps maintain a natural balance between helpful and less helpful wildlife, insects bring natural yeasts to the grapes, which in turn will enable natural fermentation without the need to add any additional yeast, and healthy vines need healthy soil, and this relies on a healthy ecosystem.
The positioning of 200 acacia trellis posts and 50 chestnut fence posts completed the next stage of our vineyard preparation. Every post was put in by hand, as Jon's back can still attest to! We were very thankful for the help our friends Steve and Michelle gave us at this time.
The perimeter fence is needed to deter the local 'sangliers', the wild boars that roam this area, and to keep out the small deer who love nothing more than a mouthful of fresh baby vine shoots.
After Jon had drilled so many holes with his own machine that he broke the drill bit, we hired a two-man machine which took all Jon and Waldy's strength to manoeuvre, but it got the job done! We generally worked in a team of 6, two on the hole-drilling machine, one preparing vines to plant, one mixing and carrying compost, one making vine protectors and planting.