Welcoming the future in Villemajou on living soil
"Wine has to taste like somewhere, not something." » Gérard Bertrand produces wines that have the taste of their terroir, on soil worked biodynamically. A desire that takes on its full effect during the harvest. Explanations to Villemajou.
The lands of Saint-André, protected by the first foothills of the Corbières, are home to the vines of the Villemajou estate, where it all began for the Bertrand family. In the rows of Roussanne, the team of pickers harvests the grapes, which, blended with the Marsanne and Vermentino grape varieties, will give the next vintage of Château de Villemajou Grand Vin Blanc.
At the helm of this 2021 harvest, Fabrice Bousquet reports 12 years of service alongside Gérard Bertrand. Manager of 60 hectares, he lavishes continuous care on his plots all year round and is delighted with the sanitary state of the grapes: “We are proud of the health of our vines. For us, it is a real reward to see the fruits of our labor. Today, we are happy, as a team. »
"Terroir is enhanced when soils are alive"
In his latest book La Nature au cœur, Gérard Bertrand explains that "The terroir is sublimated when the soils are alive: the grapes of the terroirs capture the imprint of their biotope with the help of wind, sun and rain and release, through the alchemy of fermentation, this origin in the wine". For Fabrice, the vine is also an animated organism that originates in the ground. He has witnessed the evolution of the vine since the estate's conversion to biodynamics and explains one of the many differences: "In a traditional system, it is the roots close to the ground that nourish the strain while in biodynamics, the strain resumes a so-called "normal" progression with stronger rooting and high resistance potential".
Soil to stump, stump to leaf and leaf to grape
The story of each plot begins on a terroir, preserved and energized by biodynamics. Here, no weed killer or chemical fertilizer. The grass is cut, the soil turned over, using manual techniques. And at the end of the harvest, when the leaves fall naturally, one by one, the sheep take over the estate. They feed on the grass, produce natural fertilizer and thus nourish the soil. The cycle of life then resumes its course and the taste, that much sought-after bouquet of "somewhere" returns. One harvest after another. On the soil of Corbières.