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Writing the story

This blog, started in 2016, gives you the news of the wine estate with a particular focus on the key steps of our choices to implement the bio-logical dynamic.

In summary, these are mainly agro-ecological practices, such as hedges or green cover between rows, intended to make the soil alive, promote biodiversity, and thus improve the resistance of the vine to diseases.

In addition, since 2017, we have made the choice of agroforestry, that is to say that we systematically design our new vineyard plantations in such a way that there are trees planted in the middle and at the edges of the plots.

The tree is indeed nourishing for the soil. It acts favourably on biodiversity and contributes indirectly to the fight against some diseases of the vine, in particular by offering bats, these “anti-pesticide allies”, benchmarks to enlarge their field of action.
We also see agroforestry as a choice for the future in front of global warming. Indeed, faced with climatic excesses, the tree acts as regulator.

A date with our bats!
Ajouté le 15 06 2021

Acoustic identification of three species of BATS with agents of the Parc Naturel Régional Médoc last night at Anthonic!

Let's explain why we are delighted to observe them in our vineyards(1), how our agroforestry system favours their presence(2) and what we learned yesterday(3).

(1)Bats are true indicators of the health of an ecosystem and play an essential ecological role, particularly as "natural insecticides", since in one night, a bat can consume almost half its weight in various insects, including certain butterflies that are pests of the vine.

(2)Bats use echolocation to find their way around, which is made possible by the obstacles encountered by the ultrasound they send out.

The presence of trees and hedges in the heart of the vineyard, linked to agroforestry, therefore also has the advantage of giving these chiropterans additional landmarks and thus enabling them to extend their hunting territory.

(3)Yesterday we understood that the presence of ditches and ponds is also important to provide water for lactating females (the bat is a mammal!).

Acoustic identification is done by amplifying the ultrasounds emitted by the bats.

Each species has its own frequency of emission, which corresponds to differences in the distances they can cover, with the noctules, at the lowest frequency, being able to go the furthest (up to 150m) whereas the Lesser Horseshoe, at the highest frequency, only covers 5-10m.

What, why and how agroforestry ?
Ajouté le 03 06 2021

There is a lot of talk about it, but what is AGROFORESTRY (1)? How (2) and why (3) should it be implemented in the vineyard? Here are some answers based on the choices made at Château Anthonic.

(1) The French Agroforestry Association explains on its website that "agroforestry refers to all agricultural practices that integrate trees into the production environment and are inspired, in agronomic terms, by the forest model. (...) The reintroduction of trees into agricultural landscapes is the result of a global agro-ecological reflection and can in no way be presented as an isolated solution. (...) We must therefore think of trees as a link in a wider chain of reflection on soil vegetation cover and changes in agricultural practices. "

(2) In order to transpose these principles into our vineyard, we began in 2010 by systematically planting hedges along the ditches that criss-cross the vines, while favouring grassing of the vines.

With the organic conversion in 2016, we have systematized the vegetation cover of the soil by planting cereal, leguminous and/or cruciferous plants in autumn that we roll and leave on the ground in spring. The vegetation cover provides the soil with its humus ration, while protecting it from UV and drought, and limiting compaction.

Since 2017, we have been designing all new plantings of vines to include trees in the plot itself, while we are also generalizing trees in the vineyard borders. The agroforestry system that is thus being put in place is the result of a great deal of thought, particularly with regard to the choice of tree species planted (fruit trees and local deciduous trees) and the repercussions on the density of the vine plantation and even on its pruning method.

(3) We are making all these efforts because the interest of the tree is far from being limited to its power to store carbon dioxide through photosynthesis.

The tree is a climate damper. By drawing and transpiring water from the deep layers, it cools the atmosphere in summer, while its presence limits the effect of the wind, which is responsible for significant water losses through evaporation.

The tree is an ecological hostel on all levels. Its branches are home to a variety of fauna and are a landmark for bats. It also contributes to the biodiversity of the soil, in particular by encouraging the presence of fungi (mycorrhizae) which will enrich the roots of the vine.

The tree also contributes to the drainage and fertility of the soil by restoring organic matter via the leaves that fall to the ground, the decomposition of its roots and the ramial chipped wood (RCW) that comes from its pruning (it must be pruned regularly so that it does not encroach too much on the vine).

In conclusion, planting trees in vineyards should not be the tree that hides the forest! It is part of a global agro-ecological system aimed at restoring complex ecosystems and encouraging biodiversity! Do not hesitate to come and see us to find out more than this too brief summary.

Agroecology and pedagogy of the buzzard
Ajouté le 01 03 2021

By its attitude, this buzzard confirms the interest of plant cover for biodiversity!

It elected as hunting ground one of the plots completely covered in green fertilizer (photo), that is a plot that has just been planted, and not one of the numerous other plots that are covered every other row (to allow passage on the row simply grassy).

Jean-Baptiste, who observes this buzzard from the window of the kitchen, found that it returns every day in this same plot.

Simply because it is there that it finds most easily food to eat!

As a reminder, plant cover is an agro-ecological practice that consists of planting cereals, legumes & crucifers that, when rolled in the spring and left on the ground, bring organic matter to the soil (hence the idea of “green fertilizer” ).

The eyes of the vine
Ajouté le 04 02 2021

Do you know that we name « eyes » the buds left on the vine when pruning?

The «eyes» I see here come rather from the holes left by old branches but the coincidence is funny!

As for the ties (these “white ribbons” attached by hand), they are pieces of cloth used after the pruning to attach the vinefoot to the wire.

Experimenting to create a vegetal arch
Ajouté le 20 01 2021

Do you know why we are experimenting to create hedges on BOTH sides of this ditch?

When trimming the hedges that already crisscross the vineyard, we kept the branches to create new hedges. The branches used for cutting were cut in bevel. The other ones were recovered to cover the ground: by degrading, they will create an environment favorable to the growth of the hedge.

We begin the experiment of planting a hedge on each side of the ditch so that as they grow they form a VEGETAL ARCH that completely covers the ditch, which will have a double advantage.

First, as the ditch will be protected from light, there will be no more vegetation growing in it and we will no longer have to maintain it. Second, this canopy of hedges will create an ecosystem favorable to biodiversity.

Our little trick for successful cuttings? 

Knowing that the cutting must be pushed deep into the ground (same length in the ground as on the outside) and that the diameter of the hole must be smaller than that of the cutting (to avoid oxygen that would dry the wood), making a pre-hole is an essential operation. Some use a rebar. At Anthonic, we use an old shaker stick from a harvesting machine! Which shows that, from the pruned branches to the old material, nothing is lost !

Why do we hand-braid the vines?
Ajouté le 11 01 2021

Do you know why this vine has been hand-braided and never trimmed since its pruning last winter?

Plaiting the vine is useful as a method of prophylaxis against mildew.

Indeed, the usual operation of trimming (or cutting the branches that have become too long) has the indirect effect of stimulating the awakening of the lower buds. New branches then develop at the level of the grape clusters, causing a buildup of vegetation favorable to the moisture favorable to mildew, especially since the young leaves are more sensitive to this disease.
By plaiting the vine, making a bridge over the wire and bending it towards the ground, we cause a natural slowdown of the growth of the vine, while the new leaves will accumulate at the top of the thread and not in the sensitive area of the clusters.
Braiding is done by hand and takes an enormous amount of time, which is why we don’t do it on all our plots but where we have done it, it has helped us to limit the risk of mildew.

Winter is coming but vine-work never die
Ajouté le 25 11 2020

You often ask us what we do in the vineyard after the harvest.

Before pruning next month, we maintain the training of the vineyard.

That is to say, as suggested by the piles in the photo, that we pass through all the plots and remove the damaged posts or dead vines

A star in Guide Hachette for Anthonic 2017 !
Ajouté le 14 10 2020

We dedicate the star and excellent comment we’ve received today in a famous French wine book for Château Anthonic 2007 to all those who have helped in those difficult days.

2017 means namely for us the terrible frost that deprived us from 95% of the crop. Everything for that vintage was more complicated but the wine is excellent as showed by this star.

We dedicate this star to our faithful team, our friends and their help for the harvest and our children who helped in the vineyard during the summer even when in the same time studying with their earbuds... Many thanks to each of you! You can be proud!!
 

Rainwater for herb teas for our vines
Ajouté le 21 04 2020

To get a non-chlorinated water to prepare the herb teas for the care of our vines, we made this recovery system of rainwater. 
It’s simple to understand with the picture below and the gif made by our son @picor_art . https://www.facebook.com/chateauanthonic/videos/934291520323493/

The barrel on the right recovers the 1st water falling from the roof: it’s not useful because it’s dirty from the rinsing of the roof. When this barrel is full, the ballcock raises and let pivot the gutter in the left barrel. 

We pump the water of this last barrel to prepare the herbal teas for our vines because they are more effective with non-chlorinated and not dirty water.

Nettles fertilizer to stimulate the vines
Ajouté le 16 04 2020

Today, picking & cutting of nettles to mix them with water.

After fermentation, this natural foliar fertilizer will be used to stimulate the vines’ growth because it contains nitrogen & iron. 

It’s the reason why we use it at the beginning of the growing season of the vines.

We are ORGANIC CERTIFIED!
Ajouté le 03 12 2019

Our team is happy to announce, from the top of the big oak of Anthonic, that our wineestate is now organic certified!

 

After harvest, now seeding!
Ajouté le 21 10 2019

We are now sowing a green cover on our soils (every two rows to let a possibility of passing) in the whole vineyard.

To cover the soils is namely one of the pillars of agroecology. Plants and cereals will contribute to enrich and aerate the soils and favor the present fauna, all measures important for a living soil.

We use a blend of a lot of organic seeds.

Ladybirds and plant cover!
Ajouté le 15 05 2019

Plant cover is good not only for ladybirds but also for soil's life and thus for the vines !


We use several blends of plants as plant cover like faba bean (on the pic with the ladybirds) mixed with vetch and triticale (ancien wheat).


They soon will be all rolled and left in the spot between the rows. When decomposing these plants will give organic matter and nitrogen to the soils. It's the reason why they are called "green fertilizer", they constitute a natural fertilizer.

Discover 2018 Anthonic in music!
Ajouté le 08 05 2019

 

Open doors to discover agroforestry!
Ajouté le 02 04 2019

You're welcome on 6th & 7th April for the open doors at château Anthonic, the occasion to visit our vineyard in 3rd year of conversion to organic viticulture and our plantations of vines in agroforestry (with trees).

Of course, there will be also a tasting of our wines! 

 

Agroforestry takes shape in our vines
Ajouté le 18 01 2019

Many old varieties of peach trees, apple trees and pear trees cross from now on the parcel in front of the château. 

First trees planted in our vines
Ajouté le 18 01 2019

What a symbol!

Planting today of the first trees integrating our vines (AGROFORESTRY) by the "Vignerons du Vivant", these young people becoming integrated through an "organic" training to the vines jobs.

We are reflecting on this project of agroforestry for a long time and have prepared it by leaving a space for the future trees when planting our last plots of vines. We are now so happy to see the trees (more in the next post).

Hedges as corridors for the biodiversity
Ajouté le 12 11 2018

    The hedges crossing our vineyards aim to create wildlife corridors connecting the wooded areas, which provide uninterrupted passageways for the fauna.

    Hedges are also refuges for birds and insects and relays for bats, all natural predators of vineyard pests.

    In autumn the hedges are besides a feast for the eyes! 

Bats as allies anti-pesticides
Ajouté le 07 11 2018

    Welcome to the bats!

    Present again in Anthonic, they constitute a natural alternative to insecticide as they are predators of some vineyard pests (eudémis and cochylis).

    The network of hedges crossing our vineyard and soon the trees planted in agroforestery aim precisely notably to create relays for the bats. They can thus 

Press wine vintage 2018
Ajouté le 05 11 2018

Just to show how beautiful is the press wine of vintage 2018, a vintage completely organic produced (if not yet certified) as we were in our second year of conversion to organic viticulture.

2 piles of natural fertilizers for our vines
Ajouté le 17 10 2018

    Interesting to notice:

    The left pile of fertilizer comes from a mushroom farm and contains therefore calcium.

    So can we hit 2 targets with 1 shot: to feed our soils before planting & to reduce the acidity of the ground when needed.

 

A refuge for the reptiles of our hedges
Ajouté le 11 08 2018

Jean-Baptiste & Philomène have prepared a heap of stones as refuge for the reptiles living in our hedges through recycling pieces of limestone from a recently planted plot of vines. 

3rd year of conversion to organic viticulture!
Ajouté le 05 08 2018

We're now entering the 3rd year of the conversion to the organic viticulture for our whole vineyard.

This challenge isn't always easy (in particular because of the oceanic climate) but we are very happy with our choice, for example whe we see the numerous and beautiful butterflies dancing in our vines !

Agroforestry and biomass
Ajouté le 25 07 2018

A space of 4,5 meters has been left free in the midden of this recently planted plot of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Next autumn we're going to plant there a row of broad-leaves trees (mostly maple trees). Later they will be short pruned in order not to compete with the vines. 

This illustrates one of the advantages of agroforestry (planting trees in the vines): to produce, with the cut branches of the trees, biomass that will be transformed in humus, for a more living soil for the vines.

1st plantation in agroforestry
Ajouté le 28 06 2018

     Planting of our first parcel of vines in AGROFORESTRY, i.e. with trees.

     On the picture you can see that one row is missing in the middle. In autumn we'll plant there espaliered fruit trees. 

     The aims of the association vines/trees are in particular to give the protection of the trees to the vines (through mycorrhiza and micro-climate) and to the soils (fertility).

     It's also very gainful for the biodiversity, for example to give landmarks to bats that are also predators for some pests of the vines.

Wild orchids in our ditches
Ajouté le 20 05 2018

In this season lots of wild orchids are flowering in the ditches surrounding our vineyard, visible sign of biodiversity.

Here are some of them.

Nettles fertilizer to stimulate the vines
Ajouté le 30 04 2018

It's not a soup but a nettles fertilizer that Philippe is preparing on the picture!

He mixes the nettles he has mowed with water. The blend is then covered to ferment protected from light. After a few days it will be filtered and used diluted with the next treatment of the vines.

The aim of the nettles fertilizer is to support the growth of the vines and stimulate the microorganisms (bacteria etc..) of the soil.

Exciting training day on the green work
Ajouté le 24 04 2018

Exciting training day for our team with Marceau Bourdarias on the "green work" (crown suckering, trimming of the vines). 

These spring work prepare actually already the pruning of next winter.

Marceau explained us how to favour the sustainability of the vineyard and the quality of the crops, notably with respect of the sap flux of the vines.

Plant cover is also good for the bees !
Ajouté le 18 04 2018

    The plant cover we have sown to structure, enrich and aerate the soil in the vines and therefore make it more alive is now in flowers. There are the mustard and its beautiful yellow flowers but also the broad bean whose flowers are probably delicious because they attract and treat a lot of bees. 

    At this time Anthonic rhymes with bucolic ! 

In spring plant cover becomes yellow!
Ajouté le 21 03 2018

The "plant cover" we've planted in autumn (we explained why in the precedent news) is flourishing.

One of the plants of the blend we use as plant cover is mustard that is now in this beautiful yellow blossom...

Plant cover
Ajouté le 30 10 2017

   This autumn we have sowed "plant cover", each other row to let the tractor go on working on the row with grass.

   It’s a mixing of three types of plants (cereal, leguminous and cruciferous plants) whose effects on the ground and the vines are complementary.

   The goals of this planting are: to structure the ground, to enrich it with the nitrogen fixed by the leguminous plants and with the nutrient released by the cruciferous plants and to aerate it in depth thanks to the roots of these plants.

 

To treat the vine: problematic and organic option (PART 1)
Ajouté le 31 07 2017

   It’s a fact: diseases able to harm the vines do exist since the end of the 19th century. In the region of Bordeaux, the oceanic climate make the vine particularly sensitive to fungal diseases, mildew and powdery mildew, that are microscopic fungus affecting the leaves and/or the grapes.

   The vines must thus be treated; if not, there is no crop.

   The conventional option (that is not-organic) favours chemical treatments known as “systemic”, what means that they get into the sap of the plant. These products have an action on the plant for 15 days; thereafter, they must be renewed.

   The organic viticulture use only products that don’t stem from the chemical synthesis (for example the traditional “Bordeaux mixture”) and that are “contact products”, what means that they stay and protect the leaves and the grapes until they are “washed out” by an important rain.

   In the organic way, the frequency of treatments depends thus on the weather (more often, if they are more “washing out” rains) and on the stage of the growth of the vines (you should treat as long as new leaves come). If the summer is dry, it’s therefore useless to renew the protection when the growth of the vines is stabilized, that is, in general, end of July.

Emmanuel Chety, the new mister organic of Anthonic
Ajouté le 12 06 2017

 After 16 years of rigorous work at château Anthonic, Jean-Bernard Despatures, our technical manager, leaves us to become one of the partners of a winery in Belgium. He made possible our conversion to organic viticulture thanks to his precise knowledge of our vines and terroir and thanks to his enthusiasm. Thank you!

 Welcome to Emmanuel Chety who succeeds him. Emmanuel is a very curious man, always wishing to learn more and to get more training, and above all he is passionate about organic viticulture, that he knows well, as he has been practicing it for more than 6 years on the 40ha winery of his family.

 His experience will be precious for Anthonic during the delicate period of the conversion to organic.

Facing the damage of the frost with the organic attitude
Ajouté le 17 05 2017

 The frost ravaged almost 100% of our vineyard. Looking forward to the resumption of the activity of the vines and, perhaps, the emergence of new buds, what can we do?

 With Albane Bervas, our adviser for the organic, we discover the “organic-attitude”. Albane explains us that the vines, after such a stress, need the benevolent and friendly hand of the human being. She recommends us to have compassion for the vines and to trust them. This BIODYNAMIC APPROACH fill us with wonder. We understand that the conversion to organic is not only a paradigm shift (from healing to prevention); it’s also a life philosophy.

 In concrete terms, we’ve to be kindly in spirit with the vines and take care of their stress and our stress with the same infusion of valerian (see the picture!).

Organic or not, the same helplessness in front of the frost
Ajouté le 28 04 2017

 

The sexual confusion
Ajouté le 13 04 2017

 This year we initiate at château Anthonic sexual confusion. No obscenity but a good practice to avoid the use of insecticide against the worm of the cluster.

 Capsules scattered in the vineyard emit pheromones which cause confusion among the butterflies. Males and females of the 2 species laying on the vine are no longer able to locate them, which limits their reproduction. The bosses larvae on bunches are so limited. This avoids the driving of grains by the caterpillars and the problems of grey rot likely to settle on these wounds.

 At the end of the season the unsightly capsules are recovered.

In winter, what's new with the conversion?
Ajouté le 03 01 2017

  In fact, the conversion to organic viticulture has no impact on the usual work of the vines in winter, except that we prune them on a plowed soil. Now like before, the pruning work, with a careful respect of the structure of the vine stocks, keeps our team busy for nearly 4 months.

  The only effect of our conversion came oddly from our insurance agent, when we concluded our insurance against hail and frost. His reaction was timid and cautious. The discussion went about the potential increased risks due to the new way of growing.

  But, as always between people of good faith, we ended up finding a solution satisfactory for all.

 

Albane Bervas, our consultant for the conversion to organic
Ajouté le 08 12 2016

 To help us in the fundamental change of the conversion, we appeal to Albane Bervas, a specialist in organic viticulture.

 She comes to château Anthonic each month to watch our vines.

 Thanks to her experience and her passion for organic, she makes recommendations on the aspects we should pay attention to keep our vines healthy and surrounded by a living nature (fauna and flora).

Goodbye herbicides, hello hard work!
Ajouté le 16 11 2016

 The terroir of Château Anthonic is of clay-limestone. In these heavy soils, de-grassing was mainly necessary to enable the tractors to pass through the vineyards after rain.

 We rapidly evolved towards a natural grassing over between the rows in order to minimise herbicide use, which remained directly under the rootstocks only.

 From Autumn 2016 therefore, our organic conversion resulted in a return to fully working the soils under the vines.

 And now: action!

 

Organic put simply
Ajouté le 14 10 2016

 Understanding the conversion to organic viticulture engages a fundamental change, which could be expressed simply as a paradigm shift from healing to prevention.

 We abandon the logic of caring for our vines when they are sick, and we enter into a dynamic where our vines naturally regain their resistance to disease.

 The conversion period is therefore critically important because it is when the vine, deprived of synthesised chemical ‘help’, must rebuild its natural defences.

 It is a change of position, somewhat like the Little Owl we found in our son Henri’s room, with its head pointing to the floor!

Writing the story

This blog, started in 2016, gives you the news of the wine estate with a particular focus on the key steps of our choices to implement the bio-logical dynamic.

In summary, these are mainly agro-ecological practices, such as hedges or green cover between rows, intended to make the soil alive, promote biodiversity, and thus improve the resistance of the vine to diseases.

In addition, since 2017, we have made the choice of agroforestry, that is to say that we systematically design our new vineyard plantations in such a way that there are trees planted in the middle and at the edges of the plots.

The tree is indeed nourishing for the soil. It acts favourably on biodiversity and contributes indirectly to the fight against some diseases of the vine, in particular by offering bats, these “anti-pesticide allies”, benchmarks to enlarge their field of action.
We also see agroforestry as a choice for the future in front of global warming. Indeed, faced with climatic excesses, the tree acts as regulator.

A date with our bats!
Ajouté le 15 06 2021

Acoustic identification of three species of BATS with agents of the Parc Naturel Régional Médoc last night at Anthonic!

Let's explain why we are delighted to observe them in our vineyards(1), how our agroforestry system favours their presence(2) and what we learned yesterday(3).

(1)Bats are true indicators of the health of an ecosystem and play an essential ecological role, particularly as "natural insecticides", since in one night, a bat can consume almost half its weight in various insects, including certain butterflies that are pests of the vine.

(2)Bats use echolocation to find their way around, which is made possible by the obstacles encountered by the ultrasound they send out.

The presence of trees and hedges in the heart of the vineyard, linked to agroforestry, therefore also has the advantage of giving these chiropterans additional landmarks and thus enabling them to extend their hunting territory.

(3)Yesterday we understood that the presence of ditches and ponds is also important to provide water for lactating females (the bat is a mammal!).

Acoustic identification is done by amplifying the ultrasounds emitted by the bats.

Each species has its own frequency of emission, which corresponds to differences in the distances they can cover, with the noctules, at the lowest frequency, being able to go the furthest (up to 150m) whereas the Lesser Horseshoe, at the highest frequency, only covers 5-10m.

What, why and how agroforestry ?
Ajouté le 03 06 2021

There is a lot of talk about it, but what is AGROFORESTRY (1)? How (2) and why (3) should it be implemented in the vineyard? Here are some answers based on the choices made at Château Anthonic.

(1) The French Agroforestry Association explains on its website that "agroforestry refers to all agricultural practices that integrate trees into the production environment and are inspired, in agronomic terms, by the forest model. (...) The reintroduction of trees into agricultural landscapes is the result of a global agro-ecological reflection and can in no way be presented as an isolated solution. (...) We must therefore think of trees as a link in a wider chain of reflection on soil vegetation cover and changes in agricultural practices. "

(2) In order to transpose these principles into our vineyard, we began in 2010 by systematically planting hedges along the ditches that criss-cross the vines, while favouring grassing of the vines.

With the organic conversion in 2016, we have systematized the vegetation cover of the soil by planting cereal, leguminous and/or cruciferous plants in autumn that we roll and leave on the ground in spring. The vegetation cover provides the soil with its humus ration, while protecting it from UV and drought, and limiting compaction.

Since 2017, we have been designing all new plantings of vines to include trees in the plot itself, while we are also generalizing trees in the vineyard borders. The agroforestry system that is thus being put in place is the result of a great deal of thought, particularly with regard to the choice of tree species planted (fruit trees and local deciduous trees) and the repercussions on the density of the vine plantation and even on its pruning method.

(3) We are making all these efforts because the interest of the tree is far from being limited to its power to store carbon dioxide through photosynthesis.

The tree is a climate damper. By drawing and transpiring water from the deep layers, it cools the atmosphere in summer, while its presence limits the effect of the wind, which is responsible for significant water losses through evaporation.

The tree is an ecological hostel on all levels. Its branches are home to a variety of fauna and are a landmark for bats. It also contributes to the biodiversity of the soil, in particular by encouraging the presence of fungi (mycorrhizae) which will enrich the roots of the vine.

The tree also contributes to the drainage and fertility of the soil by restoring organic matter via the leaves that fall to the ground, the decomposition of its roots and the ramial chipped wood (RCW) that comes from its pruning (it must be pruned regularly so that it does not encroach too much on the vine).

In conclusion, planting trees in vineyards should not be the tree that hides the forest! It is part of a global agro-ecological system aimed at restoring complex ecosystems and encouraging biodiversity! Do not hesitate to come and see us to find out more than this too brief summary.

Agroecology and pedagogy of the buzzard
Ajouté le 01 03 2021

By its attitude, this buzzard confirms the interest of plant cover for biodiversity!

It elected as hunting ground one of the plots completely covered in green fertilizer (photo), that is a plot that has just been planted, and not one of the numerous other plots that are covered every other row (to allow passage on the row simply grassy).

Jean-Baptiste, who observes this buzzard from the window of the kitchen, found that it returns every day in this same plot.

Simply because it is there that it finds most easily food to eat!

As a reminder, plant cover is an agro-ecological practice that consists of planting cereals, legumes & crucifers that, when rolled in the spring and left on the ground, bring organic matter to the soil (hence the idea of “green fertilizer” ).

The eyes of the vine
Ajouté le 04 02 2021

Do you know that we name « eyes » the buds left on the vine when pruning?

The «eyes» I see here come rather from the holes left by old branches but the coincidence is funny!

As for the ties (these “white ribbons” attached by hand), they are pieces of cloth used after the pruning to attach the vinefoot to the wire.

Experimenting to create a vegetal arch
Ajouté le 20 01 2021

Do you know why we are experimenting to create hedges on BOTH sides of this ditch?

When trimming the hedges that already crisscross the vineyard, we kept the branches to create new hedges. The branches used for cutting were cut in bevel. The other ones were recovered to cover the ground: by degrading, they will create an environment favorable to the growth of the hedge.

We begin the experiment of planting a hedge on each side of the ditch so that as they grow they form a VEGETAL ARCH that completely covers the ditch, which will have a double advantage.

First, as the ditch will be protected from light, there will be no more vegetation growing in it and we will no longer have to maintain it. Second, this canopy of hedges will create an ecosystem favorable to biodiversity.

Our little trick for successful cuttings? 

Knowing that the cutting must be pushed deep into the ground (same length in the ground as on the outside) and that the diameter of the hole must be smaller than that of the cutting (to avoid oxygen that would dry the wood), making a pre-hole is an essential operation. Some use a rebar. At Anthonic, we use an old shaker stick from a harvesting machine! Which shows that, from the pruned branches to the old material, nothing is lost !

Why do we hand-braid the vines?
Ajouté le 11 01 2021

Do you know why this vine has been hand-braided and never trimmed since its pruning last winter?

Plaiting the vine is useful as a method of prophylaxis against mildew.

Indeed, the usual operation of trimming (or cutting the branches that have become too long) has the indirect effect of stimulating the awakening of the lower buds. New branches then develop at the level of the grape clusters, causing a buildup of vegetation favorable to the moisture favorable to mildew, especially since the young leaves are more sensitive to this disease.
By plaiting the vine, making a bridge over the wire and bending it towards the ground, we cause a natural slowdown of the growth of the vine, while the new leaves will accumulate at the top of the thread and not in the sensitive area of the clusters.
Braiding is done by hand and takes an enormous amount of time, which is why we don’t do it on all our plots but where we have done it, it has helped us to limit the risk of mildew.

Winter is coming but vine-work never die
Ajouté le 25 11 2020

You often ask us what we do in the vineyard after the harvest.

Before pruning next month, we maintain the training of the vineyard.

That is to say, as suggested by the piles in the photo, that we pass through all the plots and remove the damaged posts or dead vines

A star in Guide Hachette for Anthonic 2017 !
Ajouté le 14 10 2020

We dedicate the star and excellent comment we’ve received today in a famous French wine book for Château Anthonic 2007 to all those who have helped in those difficult days.

2017 means namely for us the terrible frost that deprived us from 95% of the crop. Everything for that vintage was more complicated but the wine is excellent as showed by this star.

We dedicate this star to our faithful team, our friends and their help for the harvest and our children who helped in the vineyard during the summer even when in the same time studying with their earbuds... Many thanks to each of you! You can be proud!!
 

Rainwater for herb teas for our vines
Ajouté le 21 04 2020

To get a non-chlorinated water to prepare the herb teas for the care of our vines, we made this recovery system of rainwater. 
It’s simple to understand with the picture below and the gif made by our son @picor_art . https://www.facebook.com/chateauanthonic/videos/934291520323493/

The barrel on the right recovers the 1st water falling from the roof: it’s not useful because it’s dirty from the rinsing of the roof. When this barrel is full, the ballcock raises and let pivot the gutter in the left barrel. 

We pump the water of this last barrel to prepare the herbal teas for our vines because they are more effective with non-chlorinated and not dirty water.

Nettles fertilizer to stimulate the vines
Ajouté le 16 04 2020

Today, picking & cutting of nettles to mix them with water.

After fermentation, this natural foliar fertilizer will be used to stimulate the vines’ growth because it contains nitrogen & iron. 

It’s the reason why we use it at the beginning of the growing season of the vines.

We are ORGANIC CERTIFIED!
Ajouté le 03 12 2019

Our team is happy to announce, from the top of the big oak of Anthonic, that our wineestate is now organic certified!

 

After harvest, now seeding!
Ajouté le 21 10 2019

We are now sowing a green cover on our soils (every two rows to let a possibility of passing) in the whole vineyard.

To cover the soils is namely one of the pillars of agroecology. Plants and cereals will contribute to enrich and aerate the soils and favor the present fauna, all measures important for a living soil.

We use a blend of a lot of organic seeds.

Ladybirds and plant cover!
Ajouté le 15 05 2019

Plant cover is good not only for ladybirds but also for soil's life and thus for the vines !


We use several blends of plants as plant cover like faba bean (on the pic with the ladybirds) mixed with vetch and triticale (ancien wheat).


They soon will be all rolled and left in the spot between the rows. When decomposing these plants will give organic matter and nitrogen to the soils. It's the reason why they are called "green fertilizer", they constitute a natural fertilizer.

Discover 2018 Anthonic in music!
Ajouté le 08 05 2019

 

Open doors to discover agroforestry!
Ajouté le 02 04 2019

You're welcome on 6th & 7th April for the open doors at château Anthonic, the occasion to visit our vineyard in 3rd year of conversion to organic viticulture and our plantations of vines in agroforestry (with trees).

Of course, there will be also a tasting of our wines! 

 

Agroforestry takes shape in our vines
Ajouté le 18 01 2019

Many old varieties of peach trees, apple trees and pear trees cross from now on the parcel in front of the château. 

First trees planted in our vines
Ajouté le 18 01 2019

What a symbol!

Planting today of the first trees integrating our vines (AGROFORESTRY) by the "Vignerons du Vivant", these young people becoming integrated through an "organic" training to the vines jobs.

We are reflecting on this project of agroforestry for a long time and have prepared it by leaving a space for the future trees when planting our last plots of vines. We are now so happy to see the trees (more in the next post).

Hedges as corridors for the biodiversity
Ajouté le 12 11 2018

    The hedges crossing our vineyards aim to create wildlife corridors connecting the wooded areas, which provide uninterrupted passageways for the fauna.

    Hedges are also refuges for birds and insects and relays for bats, all natural predators of vineyard pests.

    In autumn the hedges are besides a feast for the eyes! 

Bats as allies anti-pesticides
Ajouté le 07 11 2018

    Welcome to the bats!

    Present again in Anthonic, they constitute a natural alternative to insecticide as they are predators of some vineyard pests (eudémis and cochylis).

    The network of hedges crossing our vineyard and soon the trees planted in agroforestery aim precisely notably to create relays for the bats. They can thus 

Press wine vintage 2018
Ajouté le 05 11 2018

Just to show how beautiful is the press wine of vintage 2018, a vintage completely organic produced (if not yet certified) as we were in our second year of conversion to organic viticulture.

2 piles of natural fertilizers for our vines
Ajouté le 17 10 2018

    Interesting to notice:

    The left pile of fertilizer comes from a mushroom farm and contains therefore calcium.

    So can we hit 2 targets with 1 shot: to feed our soils before planting & to reduce the acidity of the ground when needed.

 

A refuge for the reptiles of our hedges
Ajouté le 11 08 2018

Jean-Baptiste & Philomène have prepared a heap of stones as refuge for the reptiles living in our hedges through recycling pieces of limestone from a recently planted plot of vines. 

3rd year of conversion to organic viticulture!
Ajouté le 05 08 2018

We're now entering the 3rd year of the conversion to the organic viticulture for our whole vineyard.

This challenge isn't always easy (in particular because of the oceanic climate) but we are very happy with our choice, for example whe we see the numerous and beautiful butterflies dancing in our vines !

Agroforestry and biomass
Ajouté le 25 07 2018

A space of 4,5 meters has been left free in the midden of this recently planted plot of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Next autumn we're going to plant there a row of broad-leaves trees (mostly maple trees). Later they will be short pruned in order not to compete with the vines. 

This illustrates one of the advantages of agroforestry (planting trees in the vines): to produce, with the cut branches of the trees, biomass that will be transformed in humus, for a more living soil for the vines.

1st plantation in agroforestry
Ajouté le 28 06 2018

     Planting of our first parcel of vines in AGROFORESTRY, i.e. with trees.

     On the picture you can see that one row is missing in the middle. In autumn we'll plant there espaliered fruit trees. 

     The aims of the association vines/trees are in particular to give the protection of the trees to the vines (through mycorrhiza and micro-climate) and to the soils (fertility).

     It's also very gainful for the biodiversity, for example to give landmarks to bats that are also predators for some pests of the vines.

Wild orchids in our ditches
Ajouté le 20 05 2018

In this season lots of wild orchids are flowering in the ditches surrounding our vineyard, visible sign of biodiversity.

Here are some of them.

Nettles fertilizer to stimulate the vines
Ajouté le 30 04 2018

It's not a soup but a nettles fertilizer that Philippe is preparing on the picture!

He mixes the nettles he has mowed with water. The blend is then covered to ferment protected from light. After a few days it will be filtered and used diluted with the next treatment of the vines.

The aim of the nettles fertilizer is to support the growth of the vines and stimulate the microorganisms (bacteria etc..) of the soil.

Exciting training day on the green work
Ajouté le 24 04 2018

Exciting training day for our team with Marceau Bourdarias on the "green work" (crown suckering, trimming of the vines). 

These spring work prepare actually already the pruning of next winter.

Marceau explained us how to favour the sustainability of the vineyard and the quality of the crops, notably with respect of the sap flux of the vines.

Plant cover is also good for the bees !
Ajouté le 18 04 2018

    The plant cover we have sown to structure, enrich and aerate the soil in the vines and therefore make it more alive is now in flowers. There are the mustard and its beautiful yellow flowers but also the broad bean whose flowers are probably delicious because they attract and treat a lot of bees. 

    At this time Anthonic rhymes with bucolic ! 

In spring plant cover becomes yellow!
Ajouté le 21 03 2018

The "plant cover" we've planted in autumn (we explained why in the precedent news) is flourishing.

One of the plants of the blend we use as plant cover is mustard that is now in this beautiful yellow blossom...

Plant cover
Ajouté le 30 10 2017

   This autumn we have sowed "plant cover", each other row to let the tractor go on working on the row with grass.

   It’s a mixing of three types of plants (cereal, leguminous and cruciferous plants) whose effects on the ground and the vines are complementary.

   The goals of this planting are: to structure the ground, to enrich it with the nitrogen fixed by the leguminous plants and with the nutrient released by the cruciferous plants and to aerate it in depth thanks to the roots of these plants.

 

To treat the vine: problematic and organic option (PART 1)
Ajouté le 31 07 2017

   It’s a fact: diseases able to harm the vines do exist since the end of the 19th century. In the region of Bordeaux, the oceanic climate make the vine particularly sensitive to fungal diseases, mildew and powdery mildew, that are microscopic fungus affecting the leaves and/or the grapes.

   The vines must thus be treated; if not, there is no crop.

   The conventional option (that is not-organic) favours chemical treatments known as “systemic”, what means that they get into the sap of the plant. These products have an action on the plant for 15 days; thereafter, they must be renewed.

   The organic viticulture use only products that don’t stem from the chemical synthesis (for example the traditional “Bordeaux mixture”) and that are “contact products”, what means that they stay and protect the leaves and the grapes until they are “washed out” by an important rain.

   In the organic way, the frequency of treatments depends thus on the weather (more often, if they are more “washing out” rains) and on the stage of the growth of the vines (you should treat as long as new leaves come). If the summer is dry, it’s therefore useless to renew the protection when the growth of the vines is stabilized, that is, in general, end of July.

Emmanuel Chety, the new mister organic of Anthonic
Ajouté le 12 06 2017

 After 16 years of rigorous work at château Anthonic, Jean-Bernard Despatures, our technical manager, leaves us to become one of the partners of a winery in Belgium. He made possible our conversion to organic viticulture thanks to his precise knowledge of our vines and terroir and thanks to his enthusiasm. Thank you!

 Welcome to Emmanuel Chety who succeeds him. Emmanuel is a very curious man, always wishing to learn more and to get more training, and above all he is passionate about organic viticulture, that he knows well, as he has been practicing it for more than 6 years on the 40ha winery of his family.

 His experience will be precious for Anthonic during the delicate period of the conversion to organic.

Facing the damage of the frost with the organic attitude
Ajouté le 17 05 2017

 The frost ravaged almost 100% of our vineyard. Looking forward to the resumption of the activity of the vines and, perhaps, the emergence of new buds, what can we do?

 With Albane Bervas, our adviser for the organic, we discover the “organic-attitude”. Albane explains us that the vines, after such a stress, need the benevolent and friendly hand of the human being. She recommends us to have compassion for the vines and to trust them. This BIODYNAMIC APPROACH fill us with wonder. We understand that the conversion to organic is not only a paradigm shift (from healing to prevention); it’s also a life philosophy.

 In concrete terms, we’ve to be kindly in spirit with the vines and take care of their stress and our stress with the same infusion of valerian (see the picture!).

Organic or not, the same helplessness in front of the frost
Ajouté le 28 04 2017

 

The sexual confusion
Ajouté le 13 04 2017

 This year we initiate at château Anthonic sexual confusion. No obscenity but a good practice to avoid the use of insecticide against the worm of the cluster.

 Capsules scattered in the vineyard emit pheromones which cause confusion among the butterflies. Males and females of the 2 species laying on the vine are no longer able to locate them, which limits their reproduction. The bosses larvae on bunches are so limited. This avoids the driving of grains by the caterpillars and the problems of grey rot likely to settle on these wounds.

 At the end of the season the unsightly capsules are recovered.

In winter, what's new with the conversion?
Ajouté le 03 01 2017

  In fact, the conversion to organic viticulture has no impact on the usual work of the vines in winter, except that we prune them on a plowed soil. Now like before, the pruning work, with a careful respect of the structure of the vine stocks, keeps our team busy for nearly 4 months.

  The only effect of our conversion came oddly from our insurance agent, when we concluded our insurance against hail and frost. His reaction was timid and cautious. The discussion went about the potential increased risks due to the new way of growing.

  But, as always between people of good faith, we ended up finding a solution satisfactory for all.

 

Albane Bervas, our consultant for the conversion to organic
Ajouté le 08 12 2016

 To help us in the fundamental change of the conversion, we appeal to Albane Bervas, a specialist in organic viticulture.

 She comes to château Anthonic each month to watch our vines.

 Thanks to her experience and her passion for organic, she makes recommendations on the aspects we should pay attention to keep our vines healthy and surrounded by a living nature (fauna and flora).

Goodbye herbicides, hello hard work!
Ajouté le 16 11 2016

 The terroir of Château Anthonic is of clay-limestone. In these heavy soils, de-grassing was mainly necessary to enable the tractors to pass through the vineyards after rain.

 We rapidly evolved towards a natural grassing over between the rows in order to minimise herbicide use, which remained directly under the rootstocks only.

 From Autumn 2016 therefore, our organic conversion resulted in a return to fully working the soils under the vines.

 And now: action!

 

Organic put simply
Ajouté le 14 10 2016

 Understanding the conversion to organic viticulture engages a fundamental change, which could be expressed simply as a paradigm shift from healing to prevention.

 We abandon the logic of caring for our vines when they are sick, and we enter into a dynamic where our vines naturally regain their resistance to disease.

 The conversion period is therefore critically important because it is when the vine, deprived of synthesised chemical ‘help’, must rebuild its natural defences.

 It is a change of position, somewhat like the Little Owl we found in our son Henri’s room, with its head pointing to the floor!

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