August 25 2016
Gérard Bertrand : « Biodynamics, our DNA in Languedoc »
With 20 millions of bottles sold each year, half of witch on foreign markets, Gérard Bertrand is one of the biggest winemakers in Languedoc and the first recognized by the biodynamic label. He explains in this short video why he chose the biodynamic way and his involvment for the agroforestry.
Why did you choose the biodynamic way ?
This decision emanates from my experience, the writings of Rudolph Steiner and from several people I met. Convinced and user of the homeopathy, I was initiated to biodynamics by Aubert de Villaine, the director of Romanée-Conti. Gilles de Baudus, the director of the Domaine de Cigalus, has changed wine growing methods to biodynamics at Cigalus in 2002, with the help of Jacques Mel, specialist of biodynamic. Convinced of this wine growing method, we decided to apply it to our 11 estates. Whe have chosen the biodynamic label Demeter, needing four years to be certified, and today, 450ha of our 600ha that we manage have been converted.
Is there a specific biodynamic method from Languedoc?
Generally speaking, South of France terroirs are easier to manage in organic and biodynamic because low humidity and wind are two key factors. Going further than our own vineyars, we push our partners to convert to organic. My vision for our region is one of leading entity which will normalize these practices.
How do you manage the sulfites reduction in your brands Naturae and Autrement in order to keep them stable and age worthy?
We focus on one thousand and one details from the harvest to the bottling, without neglecting a perfect health of the grapes coming in the vats, temperature and oxygen heightened control. After three years of research and development, we launched the first vintage of sulfite free wines, Naturae, which gathered immediatly a global success. Sulfite free wines are remarkable wines which give a more accurate expression of the fruit in its terroir.
In the last century, farmers have neglected the farming value of trees and cut them down: the number of trees in farming plots has been divided by 4. Therefore we want to come back to the ancient tradition, in partnership with the french agroforestry union (AFAF: association francçaise d'agroforesterie), by planting 2300 trees this year in the heart of farm lands, vineyards and pastries to help biodiversity, retain water and fight erosion. This will have as a consequence to develop the exonomic potenitel but also to contribute to the fight against climatic change.