Environmentally Friendly Production
For 30 years the Mas Sainte Berthe has engaged in production which is increasingly respectful of the environment and wildlife. Once common conventional methods have been abandoned.
Several initiatives have been implemented:
This work started in 1984-85 continues today.
- We have restarted working the soil between the rows of vines, limited the use of herbicides to a 20cm strip beneath the vines. This arca is in fact the most difficult to maintain and the most costly in terms of labour. A badly undertaken mechanical process can harm the vines and shorten their life.
- The choice of organic fertilizers, together with limiting the amounts of artificial fertilizers (potassium, phosphoric acid) or discontinuing their use after analysis.
- The suppression of chemical disinfection of the ground. For a minimum of 6 years after clearing an area of vines, we grow hard wheat followed by leguminous plants. Thus the combined effects of the time the soil is resting, the shredding of the straw stalks, and the ploughing in of the leguminous plants in the final year give the new vines the maximum chance of healthy growth and the longest possible life.
- Up to 1 month before the grapes are picked the suppression of the use of anti-botrytis products which most risk leaving residues through their possible use.
Our principal concern is also the quality of raw materials, for how can you produce good wines with less than perfect grapes. To achieve this we must be vigilant in putting into place prophylactic measures throughout the year.
Before harvesting a check on the ripeness of grapes in each section of vines allows them to be picked at the optimum time. The majority are hand-picked, only a few are picked mechanically (2-3 hectares out of a total of 40).
- Short pruning.
- Careful thinning out of the buds by hands.
- Training the vines along several lengths of wire to avoid overcrowding, which affects quality.
- Targeted treatments based on observation in the vines, limited to a strict minimum to combat mildew.
- Treatment against larvae based on evidence from traps put into place.
- Total absence of treatment against spider pests.
When in 1998 the Departemental Chambre d’Agriculture created the label Nutrition Méditérannée en Provence, the Mas Sainte Berthe, committed to environmentally responsible growing practices since 1984, joined this label.
Working to requirements specific to each production and updated annually, this label requires its members-growers to use methods which are more respectful of the environment. Moreover, the varieties grown, or their method of elaboration, aim to offer the consumers a product which is both tasty and nutritional.