Winemaker Robert Eden of Chateau Maris visited FORAGERS WINES and answered a question we get a lot in the shop: How do the growing practices of biodynamic and organic wines affect the quality of the wine in the bottle?
His take: wines from “live soil” just taste better.
THEIR GROWING, SOIL MANAGEMENT & ORGANIC PEST PREVENTION:
Eden was the first biodynamic producer in the appellation of Minervois, and the Maris approach to sustainable farming is unmatched. In a recent vintage, when moths began to take a toll on their crop, Eden installed a number of habitats for the local bat population (the moth’s natural predator) as a natural and effective alternative to chemical sprays. This is biodynamic pest control at its purest. And when spraying is required, the winery employs the use of tea that they brew from wild dandelions on the property. Bugs can’t stand the bitter taste, but the soil beneath the vineyard remains as vital as ever. This is what Eden means by “live soil”. A vine that has been treated and grown in accordance with it’s natural surroundings will inevitably yield healthier, tastier grapes. In the hands of an attentive and experienced winemaker, better grapes mean better wine.
All of Maris’s wines are produced from indigenous Languedoc grape varieties. Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, and Picpoul de Pinet for the whites, and Syrah, Carignan, and Grenache Noir for the reds and roses. A couple of our favorites here at Foragers are the zesty, bone-dry Picpoul (with notes of lemon, white pepper, honey and mineral) and the “La Touge” Syrah (an expressive red with clean blackberry and plum fruit and a hint of cracked pepper and wild herbs).
And if the thoughtfulness and quality behind each bottle weren’t enough, Chateau Maris boasts a few additional environmental sustainability credentials. These include a carbon-absorbing winery made from hemp, ultra-light recycled glass bottles and an office and tasting room topped with solar panels.
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