And tomorrow

To make a good wine, we need beautiful grapes. To have beautiful grapes, we need strong vine stocks. To have strong vine stocks, we need rich and healthy grounds as well as a welded and voluntary team. And moreover, we wish to leave an earth full of future to our 7 children… Therefore, we are determined to protect, to preserve and to enrich our terroir. You will find here some of our experiences or our projects to make the planet more beautiful...

Treatments, rich

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For nearly 20 years, we have been working in our vineyard in conservation agriculture, using techniques from organic and biodynamic farming. Our goal: no synthetic product neither metal in our grounds. For the 2017 campaign, we have planned 8 treatments based on essential oils (citrus, algae ...) which should be enough to accompany our vines. Let us hope that nature will be lenient.


Weed control, healthy

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In order to clean our soils and naturally protect our vines, we sowed oats between the rows. As it grows, this one suffocates the weed. Regrettably, it has also suffocated the young plants not resistant enough to fight. So since then, we have no more weed killers, but we are earthing-up, earthing-down, scraping, mowing ... and it is only with regular work of the grounds that we clean them.


Workers, helpful

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15 nest boxes: since a few years we offer a specific welcome to blue tits and bats. A blue tit eats more than 500 insects per day while a bat eats 3,000 insects each night. We want to regulate, through this natural way, the impact of pests on our fields. The shelters were built with wood in a thickness corresponding to the demands of each species and are placed to accommodate in the best possible conditions our "natural workers".

1 hive: we start... and we learn. Although the pollination of the vines is mainly done by the wind, the bees can be a help to its improvement. And also other plant species could not last without their work, such as the orchid, 100% pollinated by these insects, strawberries, for 85 to 90%, zucchini or pumpkin ... Let's help them! We need them


Electricity, surplus

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For nearly 5 years, 240 m2 of photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of our cellars allow us, from September, to be positive in electricity consumption and thus contribute, humbly but naturally, to the world production of the electricity necessary for the planet.

A car, clean

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As a good engineer, Michel Marengo is always looking for innovative solutions. So he bought a 100% electric car. It does not emit any polluting particles during its displacements. And if you have also purchased an electric or rechargeable hybrid car, while you visit the Château Hourtin-Ducasse, we offer you 2 charging stations free of charge.

A paper, prolific

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Every six months, you receive “La vie de Château” in a bamboo envelope. Very resistant, bamboo grows without pesticides, fertilizers or chemicals. It is the fastest growing plant in the world, able to grow up to one meter a day. It can be harvested several times a year. Another advantage is that it generates more oxygen than deciduous trees, has the ability to limit soil erosion and restore those that are impoverished thanks to its many rhizomes.

Some obvious facts, obvious

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Vegetable cover by natural weed during the winter period.
Waste management with systematic sorting.
Donations of bottles to support the key associations and volunteers of our territory (firemen, center of palliative care of Clermont-Ferrand, gendarmerie, town hall, various events ...).
Preference given to local suppliers (for the vines, the chais and the receptions).
Resting of a part of the domain with unprocessed parcels.
Optimization of the working conditions of the team: equipped rooms at their unique arrangement, adaptation of schedules according to the weather, training...


A future, to be defined

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Ongoing experience: since 2013, we have separated all the parcels in two parts; one is pruned on the rising moon and the other on the waning moon. Can it bring something? In 2013, given the difficult conditions, we could not see anything; in 2014 nothing to see because a part was pruned by an outside company; in 2015 no impact; and finally in 2016, just on two parcels of Cabernet-Sauvignon, the vines pruned on the rising moon were a little more resistant to diseases and a little more qualitative. To follow ...
And treatments with algae, robots, chickens, etc.