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A worthwhile challenge

Dear friends,

We're not out of the woods yet - far from it. As you can see in the latest DNA analyses from the Château Mamin vineyard, it's still a critical time for mildew infection.

We've already lost part of our crop (especially Merlot), but this is the price to pay for limiting the use of chemicals and guaranteeing biodynamic wine, which follows even stricter rules than organic farming.

I firmly believe our vines will be stronger if we keep the amount of Bordeaux mix to the strict minimum - just like our bodies' natural defences work better when we avoid over-consuming antibiotics. It's a challenge I've taken up in partnership with BaaS (Biology as a Solution).

Up to véraison, when the fruit will be safe from mildew damage, I'll keep on treating the vines between the rain showers - roughly twice a week.

It's a good job we're all passionate about what we do, here on the biodynamic wine farm!

All the best,

Vincent.



Why do DNA testing in the vineyard?

Merlot grapes are sensitive to this fungal infection, which dries the fruit and reduces yields. The earlier we can detect risks, the more effectively we can protect the vines using the minimum of anti-fungal product – instead of “spraying and praying.”

How does it work?

  • Every 3 days we collect samples from the sensors placed around the vineyard and give them to BaaS, a local start-up specializing in early pathogen detection.

  • BaaS extracts the DNA and analyses the presence of downy mildew spores using real-time PCR before any damage is visible.

  • When the risks rise, we can spot treat the vines in time to prevent mildew from spreading.

 

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