biodiversité vignoble bordelais

Ever conscious of the challenges of sustainable viticulture, in 2013 Château Pey La Tour launched a biodiversity protection programme in its vineyards.

For over 20 years we have been committed to practising sustainable viticulture across all the Dourthe estates. So it was only a natural step for Château Pey La Tour, in partnership with the district of Salleboeuf, the ONCFS , the Conseil Regional  and the Chamber of Agriculture, to engage in an initiative to protect the environment through the Agrifaune national programme.

 What is biodiversity?

Biological diversity” means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part. (1)

This is based on the interaction of three interdependent factors: diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.”

The term “biological diversity”, according to the definition adopted in the 1992 Rio Convention, is a concept that appeared in 1980 in the writings of Thomas Lovejoy, an American biologist.

The term “biodiversity” itself was invented in 1985, during preparations for the National Forum on Biological Diversity organised by the National Research Council in 1986.

Biodiversity, for what purpose?

The Agrifaune programme launched in 2007 in Sarthe, France, has now been rolled out nationally, and aims to :

  • – Promote the awareness of wild fauna as an integral part of sustainable and effective agriculture.
  • – Contribute to sustainable development in rural areas.
  • – Integrate biodiversity in the local economic fabric of farms.
  • – Monitor the technical, economical and environmental efficiency of farms within the programme.
  • – Promote the knowledge acquired via the network established with the public authorities.
  • – Collaborate in defining new rural policies.

 So why engage in an eco-responsible initiative at Chateau Pey La Tour?

This site is one of the oldest in the Dourthe stable, and originally dates back to the 14th century. It is located in the very heart of the Bordeaux vineyards, in Entre-deux-Mers in the district of Salleboeuf, in a natural setting protected from urban development. The vast vineyard is surrounded by fields and woodlands, which are home to many species of wild flora and fauna. On a daily basis we are made aware of the diversity and fragility of Nature, which is all around us as we work and evolve.

And more specifically, in the vineyard?

Launched in 2013 on the estate, the partnership has evolved in various stages :

  • – Preliminary feasibility study
  • – Optimising what is already in place : relaying existing hedgerows, renovating a stone fountain, creating ditches and puddles to regulate the level of the two existing ponds
  • – Training the Pey La Tour workers, making them aware of the stakes of the programme
  • – Laying five new hedgerows on the slopes in a bid to link the two northern and southern extremities of the estate, which provide a natural habitat for various species of wild fauna. Comprising over 400 plants of different species of common hornbeam and ferns, hawthorn and dogwood, willow, elder or hazel etc. They provide shelter and food (plants, seeds and fruits) for sparrows and wild mammals, which as a result can settle and encourage pollinating insects and beneficial organisms.

Today, the first shrubs planted in autumn 2013 are well established, and we completed the last stage of planting in March 2015.

It will take a few more years to assess the full impact of our work in the vineyards, even if we are benefiting already from a real improvement in the landscape as we see the first buds bursting and spring blossom on the trees.