Rhone Biodynamic Wine Innovators Château Beaubois
Château Beaubois has practiced Biodynamic® agriculture since 2019 and are Demeter Certified Biodynamic for their Rhone Biodynamic Wines. Their entire vineyard is Demeter certified Biodynamic and the 2020 vintage of all Cuvee Expression wines. Their journey toward this deep environmental commitment started in 2000.
Château Beaubois truly embraces the unique Costières de Nimes AOC of the Rhone Valley known for its innovation and commitment to sustainability. Château Beaubois is one of the Top 3 wineries in the AOC and the only one that is Demeter Certified Biodynamic. Sister and brother Fanny and François Boyer are the 4th generation of their family owning the vineyard. They bring out the best of their unique terroir, producing wines of pure freshness, elegance and depth. Bordering the marshy Camargue plane and influenced by the nearby Cevennes mountain rage, nature plays a key role in wine production and style, and their adoption of Biodynamic cultivation and production methods melds nature with skill in both the vineyard and the winery.
Biodynamic Moon Calendar is the Guide
The founder of Biodynamic agriculture, Rudolph Steiner, found there to be lunar and astrological influences on soil and plant development. The creative powers of the cosmos play an important role as well as the consideration of the physical forces of nature. A number of Biodynamic calendars have been developed that offer indications for optimal times for sowing, cultivating and harvesting, based on the cyclical changes in the positions of the celestial bodies in relation to the earth.
“We have chosen to intensify the life of our soils so there can be a better exchange between the terroir, the plant and work in relation with the sky and stars, utilizing the Biodynamic Moon Calendar,” says Rhone Biodynamic wine maker Fanny Boyer.
Biodynamic Preparations are the Heart and Soil
Biodynamic farmers create their own on-farm remedies – called Biodynamic preparations – instead of importing chemicals. These “preps” are made from materials found on the farm, and improve soil microbiology and fertility, enliven compost, and improve crop photosynthesis.
The art and heart of Biodynamic cultivation lies in choosing the right time for the application of the preparations or “infusions.” This requires sensitive understanding of the rhythms of the earth, as they have documented positive effects on the flora and fauna of the far
“We use plant-based preparations that we infuse into our compost tea,” says vigneron François Boyer. “These preparations help the vines to defend themselves from insects and other pests.”
The preparations are forms of homeopathic treatments. They include compost blended with a variety of plants grown within the vineyards. Preparations include:
- Nettle infusion – a stimulator of defense and vegetal boost against mildew
- Horsetail Infusion – drying agent to prevent mildew
- 500P – preparation of the infamous “cow-horn” utilizing animal manure to create vitality and life in the soil
- 501P is a silica preparation – It is used to bring light into the vineyard and reinforces the health and vitality as well as improving the verticality of vines, the leaf surfaces and the fruit skins.
These preparations are “energized” by vigorous paddle stirring in two copper vats, then spread on the vines and soil with a specific atomizer that is taken throughout the vineyards.
Biodynamic Production in the Winery
“In the cellar, we reduce the use of SO2 or sulfites below the norms of organic wine production, says Fanny. “We also practice ‘low intervention’ winemaking techniques that are prescribed through Demeter Biodynamic and are part of our philosophy:”
- Only indigenous yeasts of our production are used.
- No additions that would affect the color of the wine.
- The only products utilized are SO2, Bentonite Clay and pea glue for clarification.
- Any acidification or chaptalisation is prohibited
- Any heating of the grapes is also prohibited.
The Boyers understand that Biodynamic farming combines the wisdom of the past with their vision for the future – holistic farming that heals the soil. It is “regenerative farming,” leaving the land better than it was found by improving soil fertility and thus, farm and grape vitality.
“Our vision is to express and restore the whole truth of our terroir, magnifying the purity and the elegance of our wines,” says Fanny. “We look to the future with new creativity, while taking inspiration from the familial winemaking experience. Hard Work, Passion, Respect, Share, are the key words of the winery.”
The Rhone Biodynamic wines of Château Beaubois are available for distribution nationwide and can be found at select retailers and restaurants across the country.