Confused about the winemaking jargon and wonder if they’re just marketing angels?
The farming philosophy is more than just jargon for The Wine Buff and the winemakers we partner with, it’s a way of life. We believe the process from bud to bottle is as important as the grapes. As we said earlier in the week; don’t get hung up on the grapes alone.
To help demystify the terms, this month we delve deeper into the different methods of vineyard farming that you can find in your local Wine Buff shops.
You’ll notice we will not delve into mass-produced wines with fertiliser treated land, regular spraying of pesticides and fungicides and mechanically harvested grapes (good & bad). Simply because The Wine Buff does not stock any mass produced wines.
The first farming methods to be deciphered is Traditional, Lutte Raisonee and Terra Vitis.
Traditional & Lutte Raisonee
This method of farming is found more mainly in the Old World countries, the winemaking follows the traditions of previous generations but also uses modern methods, especially in the cellar. Vineyard owners that choose to farm the vines this way recognise the importance of sustainability and the biodiversity of the vineyard.
In France, it is also called Lutte Raisonne, translated as “Reasoned Struggle”, which in farming terms means the wine grower will only intervene in the vineyard if it is a necessity. Toxic chemicals are avoided, and natural alternatives are only used when essential.
Traditional and Lutte Raisonee farming is very close to Organic farming. However, there are no regulations or checks to ensure this adherence to the process. There is no certification for this; it is guided by the conscious of the winemakers. These unregulated farming techniques can be abused which why we are so selective in the winemakers we stock, guaranteeing you genuine traditional winemaking.
Terra Vitis “Living Earth”
Terra Vitis is an independently certified process that vineyards in France undergo, and in many cases, some wines from the vineyard will be organic and others Terra Vitis. It is popular with small French growers who cannot afford the time or expense of Ecocert (inspections, paperwork, and certification are time-consuming especially for the small grower who is already a busy one-person show). The strict specifications of this certification has earned this method the recognition of the French Ministry of Agriculture.
As a member of Terra Vitis, the grower is committing to rules which when followed, will produce healthy, high-quality grapes and also respects and improves the ecosystem of the vineyard. The rules include promoting biodiversity, respect the environment and ensuring traceability.
These winemakers share a passion for working the “living earth” respectfully to serve both the humankind and the environment driven by an understanding that the viability of vineyards relies on sustainable farming methods.
You can discover Terra Vitis certified French Wines in red, white and rose in your local Wine Buff shop.