With all our vineyards firmly committed to sustainable viticulture for many years now, we decided it was time to validate our skilled expertise and sustainable through the official Terra Vitis certification scheme.
Terra Vitis, the stamp of respectful winemaking
Terra Vitis is an environmentally-concious approach tailored specifically to the wine sector. A strict set of regulatory guidelines are based upon six founding principles, including both environmental and social pillars:
* Responsibility to the terroir
* Protecting the vines and the harvest
* Responsibility towards man
* Innovation and evolution
* Responsibility towards society at large
* Responsibility towards consumers
Launched just over 15 years ago by only a handful of growers, the approach has since gained momentum and been rolled out across France, organised geographically into 6 regional associations. Now uniting more than 500 members spanning some 11,000 hectares of vines, the Terra Vitis quality label is now regarded in France as a unique national standard of sustainable viticulture.
DOURTHE vineyards, a rigorous, quality approach
For many years, the Dourthe teams have followed a rigorous set of in-house principles championing integrated, sustainable and responsible viticulture. These choices translate into a number of concrete actions:
- Training and development. Constantly evolving, we continually strive to improve our knowledge. In addition to regular external training courses, employees from all our chateaux come together to share best practice and champion pooling experience.
- Working towards a greater understanding of the soils: through scrutiny and experimentation in a bid to achieve optimum balance in the soils.
- Detailed plot by plot management: management techniques are adapted to individual sub-plots with specific soil profile at the heart of the decision-making process.
- Precise treatment regime implemented with the utmost respect for neighbours and the growers.
- The use of green fertiliser, such as temporary cover crops of cereals or legumes.
- Preserving soil biodiversity: maintaining hedges and open green areas, and planting additional hedges (eg. the Agrifaune programme initiated at Chateau Pey La Tour)
- Waste treatment and recycling.
Chateau Rahoul, the first Dourthe estate to be certified Terra Vitis
Committed to a sustainable approach from the outset, it seemed only natural to shift to an official programme to accredit the work of our growers.
We were delighted and proud to have received our first Terra Vitis certification for the 2016 vintage at Chateau Rahoul at the start of 2017. The property has also been awarded level 2 of the HVE certificate (High Environmental Value), a relatively recent agricultural certification.
Chateaux le Boscq, Reysson, Belgrave and La Garde are currently in the process of undergoing certification for the 2017 vintage. Pey La Tour, de Ricaud and Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac will follow in 2018.