Learn About Biodynamic Wine in the Southern Rhône
By Jill Barth
I take notes like a squirrel on the bird feeder—fast and full, getting it all down before someone changes the subject. You’ll know me by my notebooks.
More often than not, however, the stuff that really sticks with me doesn’t require a scribble. My memory serves in certain moments where everything just makes sense—when it links up with something in my genetic code and delivers clarity.
This happened last year when I met the Saurel family at their fifth-generation domaine, Montirius in Sarrians, which is located near Gigondas in Provence, France. The name Montirius contains part of the surname of each of Christine and Eric Saurel’s children: MON (Manon) – TI (Justine) – RIUS (Marius). Continue reading here for the contributor blog post by L’Occasion where Jill learns more about the art and science of biodynamic wine production in France.
The principal of biodynamic winemaking starts with the philosophy of taking care of the soil. With that in mind, there are no chemicals used on weeds, on the vines, or on the grapes. The Montirius vineyard is certified by BIODYVIN. This group of almost 150 winemakers in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland all follow established eco-friendly protocols.
“More simply: nothing added, nothing taken out, nothing changed.”
According to the Montirius website, their growing methodology is summarized as follows:
- Betterment of the soil and the plant with organic and mineral mixes
- Spreading of these mixes at precise moments of the year, according to lunar and planetary calendars
- Ploughing and weeding the soil.
Southern Rhône Winemakers
Located in the heart of the Southern Rhône Valley, the Montirius vineyard is in great winemaking country. This 58-hectare vineyard produces wines with AOC Gigondas, AOC Vacqueyras, and AOC Côtes du Rhônes designations.
The Saurel family has been making wine for five (5) generations, since 1947. However, it was only in the 1980s that Max Saurel (Eric’s father) stopped using chemical fertilizers. The vineyard has followed fully biodynamic principals since 1999.
Please book in advance for wine tasting.
Closed on Sundays and public holidays.