Organic agriculture and biodiversity
The whole vineyard is certified Organic Agriculture (AB), High Environmental Value level 3 (HVE 3), and NOP (National Organic Program, equivalent to AB certification for the American market). The winemaking process is certified Organic Agriculture and NOP as well.
The AB and HVE approaches are complementary. AB certification is crucial and demanding, as it ensures viticulture without the use of synthetic chemicals (synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers from the chemical industry). This eliminates the most hazardous materials for human health and the environment from the production process.
An operation with AB certification benefits from obtaining HVE level 3 certification to highlight the presence of biodiversity areas, the restriction of nitrogen fertilizers (even if they are naturally derived), and a rational approach to irrigation management.
The HVE specifications evolve over the years, making it a progressive approach aimed at producing with practices increasingly respectful of human health and the environment. Level 3 certification represents the highest level of stringency.
Soil Conservation and Regeneration
Viticulture takes a toll on the soil, and it is crucial that we maintain the health of both our vines and our soil. The consequences of decades of vine cultivation include decreased fertility and yields, and soil impoverishment. When a parcel becomes too old, after analysis and study, we proceed with uprooting the vines and then leave the soil to rest for 18 to 24 months. This promotes the root development of future vine plants and allows organic matter to regenerate.
At Bargemone, our various vine parcels, totaling 120 hectares, are surrounded by small woods and clearings. There is also a pond fed by the Touloubre River, which meanders through the middle of the estate. The Touloubre is a charming Provençal river that originates south of Venelles, between the Trévaresse Massif and Montagne Sainte-Victoire, and flows into the Mediterranean Sea through the Berre Lagoon. Bargemone is a haven for flora and fauna. Birds and insects of all kinds thrive here: blackbirds, herons, owls, dragonflies, ladybugs, and more. Wild boars, deer, and foxes are frequently spotted. And recently, the sounds of wolves have been heard. A pack might be establishing itself here… We aim to preserve this rich and diverse biodiversity. As stewards of life, we intervene very little. We let nature take its course, as it is perfectly capable of self-regulation.
Since April 2023, Nicolas Roux, beekeeper and founder of “Abeilles et Sens,” has installed 25 beehives on the estate. We have provided them a peaceful space near the Touloubre River and a blossoming scrubland. Bees are an essential link in biodiversity, pollinating 80% of plant species. While vines do not require pollinating insects, they are vital for the rest of the Bargemone ecosystem. The organic honey is available for sale at the cellar !