It’s Time to Plant!

November is not known as the best season for sowing – and yet, for sowing cover crops it’s the perfect time!

That the climate is changing is not a surprise. Last summer new heat records were set in Provence. On the 28th of June it was the hottest day in June ever measuring 43,1 °C! And the rest of summer was not much cooler. We here hit by various restrictions of water; some of them lasted until November.

So it’s time to adapt to climate change, as the next summers aren’t looking promising to be cooler and wetter.

To protect our wines, we have planted cover crops in between every row; sowing field beans and a mix of rye, oats, common vetch and crimson clover. The idea is that in spring, before they start to bloom, we will lay them down, so that they create a natural cover to protect the soil by avoiding water evaporating from the ground created by the Provençal sun. In this way, our wines are better prepared and protected for the next upcoming droughts.

Aside from protecting our soil from drought and erosion, cover crops have many other benefits. They protect and enrich the soil by rebuilding organic matter and also support a strong microbial community – exactly what our soil needs. 

Even after three years of 100% biological and regenerative farming, we can still see that the soil is not as rich as we would like it to be. The earthworms, general sign of a soil in good health, are still missing in big numbers. We hope to change through through the enrichment of the soils with the cover crops, which will in turn help rebuild a microbial community.

It’s such a delight seeing our alpacas among the vines! They are also helping us with this regenerative process; by eating the “bad weeds” that don’t serve our soil in between the vines. The cover crops, they do not touch!

Last fun-fact about cover crops: they’re able to sequester carbon :)

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