4th April 2019
While more and more vineyards in the Medoc are turning to organic and bio-dynamic farming methods, recent news from some of the top chateaux shows that it is not without its costs. Chateau Palmer, in Margaux, has been completely bio-dynamic since 2014. Sheep graze in its vineyards, fertilizer is a mixture of mulch from vine prunings and cow manure, and a herbal tea from nettles and horsetail is used to control mildew.
In normal years yields from the harvest are not a great deal lower than those of chateaux using more chemicals, but the very wet spring and early summer of 2018 created an explosion of mildew that was very hard to combat, and, as a result, combined with a drought in the late summer, Palmer's harvest fell by 30% from the previous year. The good news, however, is that the small, thick-skinned grapes that resulted from these weather conditions have, by all accounts, resulted in a superb wine!
We'll take a more in-depth look at organic wine-growing in future blog posts.