More and more, the “Organic” is omnipresent in our lives. Whether on television, at the supermarket, in cosmetics. The certification “organic” fits on all mouths as the latest fashion to follow.
But, organic does not go back to yesterday. Indeed, already in the 90s many raised the question of the durability of conventional agriculture. And in Bordeaux, Château Guiraud is part of this movement of thought. So, from 1996, Château Guiraud began a profound cultural revolution by engaging in the study of biodiversity.
This is the story of the pioneer of the First Grands Crus Classés of Sauternes to have converted…
Guiraud & Organic : A Whole Story.
Xavier Planty, appointed manager of the estate in 1986 is the one to whom Guiraud owes his evolution towards organic farming. Indeed, for a long time this passionate man has understood the need to preserve the environment in which we evolve every day. Thus, it is over the time when the land were bludgeoned and workers took risks for their health upon entering the plots. Awareness is real and distant for Xavier Planty, who began the biological practices at the Château from the 1990s.
It is therefore with a head start that Xavier Planty makes the bold choice to completely stop the use of all synthetic products on his vineyard. In 1996, a soil remediation was undertaken with strict order: no tolerance for pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Through the beginnings of this approach, Château Guiraud is committed to preserving and protecting the earth and its ecosystem, but also men.
On the strength of this first experience, the evolution goes on well in the Château Guiraud during the following decade. Plot by plot, Guiraud continues its reconversion. It was only at the end of the 2000s that Xavier Planty decided to start the official steps to obtain AB certification. Indeed, the process of recognition is long because it takes three years of testing and analysis before you can get this officialization. Finally, the consecration is done in 2011 with the certification “Organic Agriculture”. Château Guiraud is the first of the first Grand Cru Classé in 1855 and the first Château of the Sauternes appellation to receive this certification.
Guiraud & Organic : A Philosophy.
Xavier Planty sums up perfectly “The philosophy at Château is guided by the constant search for improvement and the desire to let Nature take its course so that the vine can express its full potential, under the watchful eye of our expert staff”.
Thus, many techniques are implemented at the property in the continuity of this philosophy. hedges made up of different plant species, the soil between the rows of vines are naturally grassed over, nesting sites for birds are protected, and special nesting “hives” have been installed to encourage the presence of pollinating insects. All these metods illustrate in part the commitment of the property for the preservation of biodiversity and ecological struggle.
Indeed, from water management (source on site) to energy production, through the recovery of carbon produced during winemaking (Valcarb system), Château Guiraud uses 100% natural environmental practices. Since 2001, the Château has its own conservatory of white grapevine varieties, the only one of its kind in the world. This invaluable reserve contains 135 original strains of semillion and of white sauvignon blanc. This action maintains the diversity of the vines and ensures the perenniality of the vineyard.
So, when you will visit the Château Guiraud, you will be greeted by a beautiful vegetable garden whose seasonal harvest punctuate the menu of the restaurant of the property: La Chapelle. Heading towards the reception area you will find the famous insect niche. But what is this biodiversity for? Well, insects play a decisive role, because they clean nature by eliminating leaves and dead wood, corpses or excrement left by other animals. Without plants, insects could not live. And vice versa. Thus, some insects will be used to eliminate others without using a single pesticide. The 6 kilometers of hedges planted through the vineyard allow the proliferation of animal life. Moreover, 635 species of insects and spiders have been recorded in this vegetation (whereas the average is rather around 200).
A healthy terroir is a terroir that lives and offers beautiful vines and grapes. When each element finds its natural place in a complex ecosystem where the Man does not have the hand, the Earth can only make what it has better. This is what Château Guiraud, Premier Cru Classé of Sauternes, proves us with its wines of exceptional finesse.