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he springtime and the beginning of summer constitute the period when treatments against the development of oidium and mildew take place.

The Domaine currently applies the principles of ‘lutte raisonnée’ or sustainable agriculture, tending towards organic farming, notably for the end of year treatments. Since the Domaine was established in 2000, the question of organic farming has been considered.
Louis-Michel wished to ponder the problem in its entirety. Organic farming requires at least ten treatments , whereas more conventional methods limits these treatments to six. The greater number of treatments, the more often the soils are compressed. It is essential to find a method of treatment that limits the compacting effect before moving on to organic farming.

This could have been solved by acquiring a prototype of a tractor( now produced in volume) designed by a company in the Saone et Loire weighing only 1100 kilos as opposed to the traditional three ton tractor. This lightweight ‘three wheeler’ can both treat and prune. The problems of the soil being partially resolved, there is another concern in organic viticulture: the amount of copper put into the vineyards. Effectively, the element, copper, has a toxic effect on the life of the soil and the amount needs to be limited. New formulas for biological products seem to offer smaller concentrations of copper, a development that would permit the Domaine to envisage organic farming, or even evolving to biodynamic farming.

Current treatments are limited as much as possible. Once the clusters are fully formed, usually during the second week of July, treatments are stopped. This avoids two supplementary treatments as some domaines continue treating until ripening occurs in mid-August.
No anti-rot treatments are applied for the following three reasons:

- On one hand, the necessity for such a treatment is proof that one did not know how to master the vigor of the vines

- On the other hand, it is an anti-fungicide that is used and not only does it destroy the fungi, but also the least resistant yeasts. By doing so, one is harming the total effect of a particular terroir as each terroir has its ‘panel’ of yeasts, and each yeast contributes its part to the construction of a wine

- The last of these treatments (further compacting of the soil) takes place just before the clusters are fully formed. The cluster could contain a chemical phytosanitary product that is not washed away but will be found albeit in minute quantities in the vats. This could influence vinification.

Finally, concerning the devastating enemy of vines called ‘the cluster worm’, Eudemis and Cochylis, insects who lay their eggs in the grape bunches encouraging the development of rot: the biological method is applied in the village of Vosne-Romanée by placing pheromone capsules in the vineyards that prevent the males and females of the species from meeting and mating. This is called ‘sexual confusion’.
Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair
Château de Vosne-Romanée
21700 Vosne-Romanée
Tel: +33(0) 380 62 13 70 - Fax: +33(0) 371 70 00 50
Email : contact@liger-belair.fr