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A unique region, a unique wine: champagne, the oldest AOC in France. It is only produced in the winemaking zone delimited by the law enacted on 22 July 1927. Out of the 34,000 hectares making up our vineyards in Champagne, we have contracts on almost 2,000 hectares and we wholly own and cultivate 255 hectares using sustainable wine growing methods.
Sustainable wine growing is a collective approach operated in Champagne since 2001. It was introduced through after an assessment of the vineyards and application of the standards defined by the industry association for ‘sustainable wine growing in Champagne’. Major work has been done to encourage environmental protection, in areas such as ploughing, vine management, waste management, vine protection products, etc.
Biodiversity and the countryside are the main components of both our heritage and the image of Champagne wines. The region has a number of areas of remarkable ecological interest that are protected so as to preserve biodiversity by maintaining natural habitats.
Protected plant and animal species are present in and around the vineyard, proving that responsible wine growing and protection of the biodiversity of natural environments can be reconciled in perfect harmony.
Château la Gordonne is one of the largest properties in Provence with over 350 hectares, 300 of which are planted with vines. The terroir of Pierrefeu in the Massif des Maures mountain range is an exceptional site. In its beautiful setting within a natural schist crater, the Château La Gordonne vineyard enjoys a very special microclimate. Its winters are mild and the summers are hot and dry, which means that the vines can soak up all the strength of the Provençal sun, with 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. The Mistral, a dry, strong wind, plays a major role as it sweeps across the plantations, protecting the vines from damp-related diseases.
The vines are grown on a limestone and clay plain and on the schist slopes. The soil has little humus and is permeable, shallow, stony and well-drained, bringing together the ideal conditions for the vines to flourish.
‘Château La Gordonne has harvested all of its grapes at night, using machines, for nearly 20 years. We started harvesting some grapes by hand in 2008. By harvesting under the moonlight, we make the most of the cool night-time temperatures since we are so close to the sea. During the day, the temperature can easily exceed 35 °C in the shade of the vine leaves. In August and September, the Mediterranean climate helps the grapes soak up sunlight to stock up even more on complex fruity, floral, and spicy flavours.
At night, these notes take on a more sophisticated nature. After 11 pm, the temperature drops rapidly, falling below 20 °C after midnight. Then, the grapes are cool, and their flavours are naturally protected from oxidation, and we can start harvesting, in the cool night air. We taste the berries to get a sense of the grapes' full flavour and aroma.
In the Camargue, Domaine de Jarras extends along the sandy Gulf of Lion on the Mediterranean Sea. It has a unique history: that grow in the sand, diverse, protected plant and animal species, and a millennial name and history...
This soil's special texture spared the Sables Vineyard from the phylloxera invasion in the 1860s.
Phylloxera is an aphid that attacks the vine's roots. It was unknown in France until 1868, but it caused terrible damage to vineyards and cut French wine production by half or even two thirds of its usual annual value in just a few years. Thanks to the absence of phylloxera, we cultivate an exceptional vineyard, which is unique in the world, made up of franc de pied, non-grafted, vines. The vineyard produces authentic, uncompromised pre-phylloxera wine, rich in the minerality that the ‘French roots’ of non-grafted Grenache are perfect for.
This inventory of biological diversity has highlighted the high ecological and environmental quality of Domaine de Jarras. More than 253 vertebrate species have been listed, that is over 30% of all vertebrates listed in France.
Such diversity is remarkable, as there are only three French nature reserves with over 250 vertebrate species. In all, more than 761 animal and plant species have been listed (excluding mosses, lichens, grasses and invertebrates).
An Environmental Management Plan was written, putting forward a set of actions and practices to help preserve the environment. The plan has 4 main missions divided into 20 objectives. More than 70 purebred Camargue horses are reared in total freedom within our natural spaces. This is the Jarras herd.
They live in perfect harmony with the Camargue bulls as well as the region’s famous pink flamingos.
Only one place in the world can produce Port, and that is the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. This region follows the meandering Douro River for 120 km, from the Spanish border to the Atlantic Ocean. Work is multiplying everywhere in the villages and vineyards. In these projects of titanic proportion, Man models nature to get the very best out of it. Winegrowers are planting, masons are rebuilding age-old shale walls, brand new vats are appearing, and quintas are being restored. This part of the world has now joined the third millennium.
The International Douro Natural Park is a unique place for flora and fauna, where visitors can enjoy all the splendour of nature and admire the balance between the hardy landscape and the beauty of its indescribable forms. In the heart of this unparalleled terrain lies the Terras do Grifo vineyard.
The silence is evocative of another culture and time. Only the staccato flight and cries of birds of prey remind visitors that there is life in this ecosystem.
This natural park is without a doubt a true school for life, where nature is protected and species are kept in their natural environment, free of noise pollution, with little human intervention, and with perfect harmony between the population and biodiversity.
POP Earth is the fruit of our combined efforts to reduce our products' impacts on the environment. It puts wine made from sustainably-grown grapes in a lighter bottle with a recycled paper label. The label was printed without using solvents, and special care was taken with every aspect of bottling.
To keep produced to a minimum, it is sold without any individual outer packaging, by the bottle or by the case of 6 bottles. In addition, the box is printed using water-soluble ink and contains a certain percentage of recycled paper. This recycled paper comes partly from the recovery of our own waste boxes. This bottle has a reduced environmental impact. However, glass recycling banks must also be used to ensure that the glass reuse cycle is not broken.
These treatments are kept to a minimum to maintain the biological balance between predators and parasites. The high humidity levels make it necessary to treat the vines frequently against mildew, grey rot (Botrytis), and oidium. Animal parasites, such as mites on the grapes, are generally not cause for concern. Whatever the circumstances, the winemakers use active substances with low toxicity (copper, sulphur, cutting-edge molecules) that specifically target the parasite to be destroyed.
The vines are pruned in winter. A short shoot is left behind to limit yield and obtain a high-quality product.
More than 80% of the harvest is done by machines that run 16 hours a day, and the rest of the grapes are harvested by hand. One month before the presumed harvest date, the grapes are sampled to analyse for sugar content, acidity, berry weight, pH, and organic acid level. The grapes are harvested at optimum ripeness, anywhere between 15 August and late September on average.