In 2002, the Domaines Schlumberger have joined the TYFLO* association. This is a gathering of Alsace winemakers who follow reasoned methods of production according to the IOBC guidelines (International Organisation for Biological and Integrated Control) which defines drastic specifications since January 1st, 2000 and which imposes every operation carried out on every piece of land to be recorded and archived. The overall operation is controlled and certified by ECOCERT.
THE MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AIM TO:
- Promote a viticulture that is respectful of the environment and economically viable.
- Ensure the production of healthy grapes and the development of high quality wine products, and reduce the ratios of residues to a minimum.
- Seek and sustain an important biological diversity within the vineyard ecosystem.
- Use primarily all natural control resources and processes.
- Maintain and promote the balance of the soils over in the long term.
- Minimise water, soil and air pollution.
Here are a few practical examples related to the methods of soil cultivation and treatments :
Between the rows: the soils are cultivated (tined) or grassed. In this case, regular crushing is performed during the Summer. In September, the parcels of young vines are planted with rye, which will be crushed in April and used as green manure (mulch).
Under the rows, and the slopes for our terraces: we no longer use preemergence herbicide (which would penetrate the soil), but rather a postemergence one that does not penetrate the soil and thus only affects the aerial part of the weed.
Since 2002, anti-botrytis treatment is no longer practised. Only one annual insecticide treatment is performed, partly organically. We use sulphur to combat oidium and copper (3 kg ha/yr) to combat mildew, to which we add a chemical treatment (Folpel).
We endeavour to limit the number of treatments as much as possible according to climatology and annual meteorological conditions.
We no longer use chemical fertilisers. We only provide a certain amount of organic compost depending on the vigour of the vines.
We seek vines with a “reasonable” vigour in order to obtain yields that allow to express all the typicity of the subsoils.
The sustainable culture that we practise also offers the great advantage of avoiding the packing of the soils through numerous passages of tractors (which additionally cause considerable pollution of the sites through exhaust fumes, notwithstanding the increased use of fossil fuels, or the increased risk of floods…). Some forms of culture completely omit this aspect in their speech, although a comprehensive ecological survey would undoubtedly highlight it.
The soils of the Domaines Schlumberger are alive, as demonstrated by the deep rooting that we observe when we pull up our old vines.
“We do not inherit the vine from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children…”.
This precept is that of the TYFLO charter, for a viticulture respectful of the environment. We adhere to it with our deepest conviction.
Reasoned viticulture has three advantages:
- producing healthy grapes that guarantee the quality of the wine
- preserving the vineyard ecosystem and thus the natural environment
- respecting the health of wine growers and consumers
It is obvious that replacing a fail-safe strategy by a very delicate, almost homeopathic one implies taking significant risks, but the Domaines Schlumberger are very anxious to preserve the natural environment in order to produce the great wines of the future generations.