What is organic?
The official definition of organic farming is: “A mode of production that uses practices […] concerned with respect for natural balances. It excludes the use of synthetic chemicals, GMOs and limits the use of inputs.”
Romain’s definition is: “It’s like homeopathy on the vine – if we do not treat before disease, it will be too late”.
The organic wish
Organic viticulture already was an idea that was growing in the Malidain’s head. But it is unfortunately Michel’s death that was a trigger for Romain. Our vineyard is currently in organic transition – Muscadet wines will benefit from the organic label for the 2021 vintage.
For us, organic transition is an essential step toward the future.
Michel Malidain – “I went from horse to computer; you will do the opposite”.
Romain Malidain – “The work in the vineyard has another dimension with the organic transition. It requires to be more attentive to the symbiosis with our vines”.
Organic transition: the steps
It takes 3 years to complete the organic transition.
For us, there will be 3 stages: First the Muscadet wines for the 2022 vintage, then white grapes varieties (IGP & Vin de France) for the 2023 vintage and finally red grape varieties (IGP & Vin de France) for the 2024 vintage.
These 3 steps will allow us to comprehend serenely this organic transition.
How is it different? – In the vines
Besides the demanding specifications to respect, we need to be more careful of the weather and the vines. There is not much space for mistake. We need to manage the balance of grass and vine competition.
How is it different? – In the bottle
We already use a simple and natural approach in our winemaking process so the organic transition will not have a big impact on this side – but the future will tell.
Our robot: 3.0 Employee
Just like we call it, our “3.0 employee” – automated robot arrived in the estate in 2018. After a plot restructuring in the vineyard, the idea came from a trade fair. We saw the robot in action for market gardening work – on fragile plants. We thought that, if it is working for lettuce, it will work for vine.
Today the robot is a real time saving for soil maintenance. It is GPS guided and autonomous in the vines. It contributes to fauna and flora respect by reducing chemical herbicides.
What about biodynamie?
Created by Rudolf Steiner, it is a positive organic farming which offers solutions to actual problematics – like fertility loss or biodiversity loss. Biodynamie deeply link up Man to Nature. For example, it takes into account solar and lunar cycles or it uses plant, silica or cow dung preparations. All these to increase soils fertility or biodiversity.
In the years to come, biodynamie will be the purpose of our organic transition. Essentially to go all the way to the soils work reasoning.
We already work with lunar cycles, especially for the “collage” – to clarify the wine so that suspended particles go down the vat. Usually, this step needs to be done on a waning moon.