All organic, all good ?
Our grands crus are cultivated biodynamically , our premiers crus and villages organically, without any certification, because don’t hesitate to make a chemical treatment if necessary. We use sustainable practices for our less prestigious appelations (generic and Aligoté). Let’s say we work in a reasonable way. We also buy grapes to growers which are not organic in order to make blend wines that are not labeled “organic”. We never use Organic mention in any of our bottles. So, you may ask, what is the conclusion of all this? It is quite simple: at Olivier Leflaive, we do not have absolute certainties !
The only philosophy we follow is our desire to respect the environment as much as possible. First, you should know that the “organic way” and the “sustainable way ” share 6 common practices:
1) Plough to avoid herbicides
2) Fertilizer compost
3) Not preventive but curative (except copper and sulfur)
4) Treatment with sulfur against powdery mildew
5) A minimal processing of copper against mildew (harmful)
6) Prophylactic control (lightening of the vegetation, severe évasivage)
In case of violent attack, whatever the mode of treatment is, no option can be ruled out as long as we obviously choose the least polluting solution. We are above all pragmatic and refuse blind fundamentalism because we consider that there is already enough of it in this world! A striking example? The fight against the grapevine flavescence dorée, a scourge that is accelerating in the vineyards and against which we now have two options:
1) The first one, accepted by the biological approach: a product (Pyrethrin) based on the same molecule as sarin (a deadly gas) which eliminates the grapevine flavescence dorée but also kills any auxiliary fauna (typhlodrome, bees).
2) the second one, a chemical product, but selective as it does not attack the auxiliary fauna.
In this case, you understand the “organic” product is more harmful than the chemical treatment ! So what should you do? What would you do in our place?
100% Organic or sustainable? With no absolute certainty, we decided to be reasonable in order to make the great wines you know …
Olivier Leflaive February 17th