Biodynamic farming at Domaine de la Courtade
The Domaine de la Courtade, based in Porquerolles, has been organically farmed since 1997. It is also linked to the Villa Carmignac, created in 2018 to offer temporary exhibitions, a garden inhabited by works specially created for the place as well as cultural and artistic programming. Florent Audibert has implemented biodynamic farming on the estate since 2015.
Biodynamics allows for an integrated approach to the environment. Each crop generates waste and this is recycled. There is an idea of autarky and independence, feelings that are reinforced on the islands. The concept of biodynamics is based on a lot of common sense, on using the resources at hand. It focuses on the health of the soil: if the soil is healthy, so is the plant. The Domain also practices phytotherapy: plants in maceration, liquids manure or decoctions are used to treat the vines.
Another action of the Domain is the use of green manure in the winter. Sown in the autumn, they enrich the soil and combat erosion. Mowed in the spring, they continue to feed the soil with organic matter during the summer and the following seasons.
Domaine de la Courtade does not irrigate their vines. However, they do encourage deep rooting of the vines by removing the soil at the foot of the plant (where young roots have grown) to encourage deep rooting. They also choose varieties that are resistant to drought and heat.
“The island is a terroir in itself, this singular terroir is justified by itself: the thermal and hydric conditions are unique. This allows us to keep freshness and tension in the wines.” (Florent Audibert)
“This requires a lot of organisation and anticipation: you have to be able to help yourself (e.g. if a bolt breaks on a machine, you have to be able to repair it or have someone on the island who can do it), there is a notion of autarky on an island.” (Florent Audibert)
That visit was made in the framework of the ISOS Plus project, supported by the Interreg Marittimo France-Italy 2014-2020 Program.