Principes et mise en œuvre pratique de la viticulture Agro-Synergique : Création et préservation d’un écosystème environnement global naturel original et durable

Principles and practical implementation of Agro-Synergic viticulture: Creation and preservation of an original and sustainable natural global environmental ecosystem

We know that the conventional agricultural model, in particular that of viticulture, is today running out of steam. Significant use of plant protection products and synthetic fertilizers, soil exhaustion, limited income for farmers, the discomfort of a profession that is singled out... It is time to evolve towards a new, more respectful model: agro-ecology is this desired model 1 for the preservation of the environment, for our health and for better quality products. Unlike organic, agro-ecology is not a label linked to precise and closed specifications. It is rather an approach aimed at the evolution of agricultural practices, for a more virtuous agriculture, a way of designing production systems which rely on the functionalities offered by ecosystems. It amplifies them while aiming to reduce pressure on the environment and preserve natural resources. It is about using nature as much as possible as a factor of production while maintaining its capacity for renewal. Agro-ecology is therefore an agricultural model that draws inspiration from nature to produce in a more sustainable and healthier way. In nature, there is a balance between fauna, flora and soil life. The latter allow crops to better adapt to their environment and its variations (biotic and abiotic stresses). There are several founding principles governing agro-ecology, they can be summarized as follows: - Soil protection: respect for the soil is a founding aspect in agro-ecology. No soil, no life! Thus, we have sought to reduce the work of the land on our estates (no more regular deep plowing) for 15 years, to promote permanent plant cover on the soils to preserve them, reduce their compaction and maintain their own identity by eliminating the foreign chemical fertilizers (already for more than 25 years) and all inputs likely to negatively affect the soil microbiota (chemical weedkillers for more than 15 years already). - Crop diversification: an agro-ecological farm is logically the opposite of monoculture! Crop rotation is favored to avoid soil exhaustion; associated crops are grown to accommodate biodiversity and limit the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Viticulture consists of planting and cultivating the same plant in the same place for at least several decades. This principle cannot therefore be strictly applied to our viticulture because we do not have the surface area for this ambition.
This is why I chose to describe our approach as Agro-synergistic and not Agro-ecological.
We seek to develop a global biodiversity that is as complex as possible on the sites of our different vineyards but within the framework of a monoculture (see below).
The Agro-Synergic approach is based on three fundamental pillars:
- Respect for natural environments;
- Respect for Humans;
- Respect for the product produced.
Respect for the environment: Agro-Synergy is a practice which aims to limit its impact on the environment: discharges, inputs and treatments in general are limited to preserve natural resources and the original state of agroecosystems. It develops with respect for the biodiversity mentioned above: animals (wild and domestic) are an integral part of our environment, but not necessarily of the production cycle (we do not strictly speaking carry out breeding on site on a scale sufficiently important to be representative) and the local flora is
preserved. It is difficult, as in the Biodynamic/Démeter framework, to impose a minimum surface area (10% of the surface area of ​​the farm) devoted to the “development of biodiversity” because not all farms are capable of respecting this constraint for simple reasons. configuration reasons; in our case, given our wooded areas, we far exceed this limit. The tree plays a major role in Agro-Synergy. However, it must not seriously disrupt the mechanization of operations which must be for technical or economic reasons. Thus, we maintain and develop thousands of meters of hedges and forest edges on the outskirts or in the center of our vineyards. In this way, the monotony of viticulture is broken, shelters suitable for a diverse fauna are created, we are protected in many places against the frost-producing north winds in spring, and finally we build a beautiful and harmonious landscape. But biodiversity is not only visible on the surface. Also and above all concerned is that of the subsoil: we know that a reduction (-30%) in the microbial biodiversity of the soil causes a reduction in the lamination of organic matter (-40%), an alteration of plant productivity ( -50%), a reduction in resistance to drought (-15%), a reduction in structural stability (-50%) and an increase in the survival of phytopathogens in the soil (x3) 2.
- Respect for Humans: Agro-Synergy like agro-ecology is a practice
fundamentally systemic, that is to say that it takes into account both the field but also everything that surrounds it: the farm buildings, the territory and its inhabitants... It is a question of promoting the circuits short, on-site processing, trying to promote fair remuneration for its workers.
- Respect for the Product: Our Agro-synergy is also and above all the ambition of
produce authentic wines, of better quality, richer from the point of view
of their identity, purer in the sense of their composition, but which also respond to the idea that their author has of it: they do not abandon themselves to the whims of nature, even less to those of fashion. They reflect the signature of a place, in a vintage with climatic characteristics that are of course variable, but above all they have a style that is invariable. If organic farming is based on a label, organic farmers can move towards an even more agro-ecological system going further than the organic specifications. Agro-Synergy is not based on a label but on a set of practices for an “ideal” to be achieved.
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