Stephen and Jeany are committed to the environment and to using Regenerative Agriculture practices to regenerate microbial activity, sequester carbon and increase biodiversity above and below ground.
Mirabeau is working with ecology and soil experts to carry out a full ecological baseline study that will look at the soil quality, flora and fauna in order to monitor how the ecosystem, improvements in organic soil life and biodiversity changes over the years.
Regenerative Agriculture is about moving away from industrial ‘conventional’ farming that relies on synthetic fertilisers, herbicides, insecticides and systematic ploughing and instead, towards working with nature to mimic and design multifunctional agro-ecosystems that are both sustained by nature and sustainable in their nature, promoting a system of farming principles and practices that regenerate and revitalise the soil, increase biodiversity, improve watersheds, enhance ecosystem services and help mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon.
Traditionally, vineyards are monocultures which are sprayed and ploughed, providing neatly manicured rows of vines and eliminating all ‘competition’. However, this process oxidises the soil leaving it devoid of essential nutrients and the practice of bare soil is desertifiying vineyards (i.e. there are no plants growing in-between the vines). This leads to erosion and compacting as well as causing a lack of biodiversity above and below the soil. When you consider that the total surface area the vine has with the soil is typically less than 1%, this has caused us to rethink how we farm the domaine.
Globally, we are losing topsoil at an alarming rate: last year, the UN has warned that with the current level of topsoil depletion, we only have 60 harvests left. The danger of losing topsoil cannot be underestimated: it threatens food production, increases vulnerability to droughts and wildfires, and further accelerates climate change as depleted soils release carbon into the atmosphere.
If the soil is not ploughed as much, nature can be carefully reintroduced and the organic matter in the soil can rebuild itself over time. Soil has an incredible natural ability to regenerate itself and in doing so increases important microbial activity. We believe that with a healthy living soil we can steward the land in a far more responsible way and produce higher quality grapes whilst rebalancing the ecosystem. Amazingly, healthy soil with good plant life can also play a huge role in drawing down greenhouse gasses and stabilising and eventually reversing climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil via photosynthesis and long-term storage.
Regenerative Agriculture is a paradigm shift in the way vineyards are viewed and managed and in their relation to the broader environment.
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- What is Regenerative Agriculture?
- Kiss The Ground Netflix documentary
- The Biggest Little Farm documentary
- How regenerative farming can help heal the planet and human health TEDX Talk
- Regenerative Landscapes seminar
- Climate Talks The Role of Biodiversity in Vines
- Regeneration International NGO website
- Porto Protocol Foundation website
- 4 per 100 international initiative website
- La Belle Vigne NGO (French language)
- Why biodiversity means better terroir
In Depth Reading – Academic Papers
- ‘Defining and Managing for Healthy Vineyard Soils, Intersections With the Concept of Terroir‘ (Larcanzo, Deacock and Wilson)
- ‘Is Being Sustainable Enough for Australian Wine?’ (Richard Leask)