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Companionship in organic viticulture: trees to limit the impact of global warming?

The tree of life, the family tree, the camshaft (private joke for do-it-yourselfers). In short, you have understood it, the tree is everywhere and we really need it. It provides shade, fruits, leaves and more. Let's take a quick look at how important trees are to the planet.

The ecosystem, an exchange system

The ecosystem is, according to the Larousse, “ a system formed by an environment (biotope) and by all the species (biocenosis) that live there, feed there and reproduce there ”.

What we can remember is that this system works like a cycle and it works in harmony. The earth gives its inhabitants what they need and in return they let it regenerate. The food chain is naturally designed for species to regulate each other. When animals are moved into a natural environment that is not theirs, the food chain is disturbed, the balance is not maintained and certain species may disappear while others develop too much.

For plants, the principle is the same. Your garden may have already been overwhelmed by nettles, mint, or ivy . Naturally, the balance is made but when we come to shake it up, the whole ecosystem is turned upside down and can malfunction.

The word companionship , which we use in our society to designate a system of transmission of knowledge and training for a profession, ultimately applies very well to fauna and flora as well . We speak of companion plants when they are brought together on the same plot to promote their growth. Be careful though, not all associations are good to make! As they say, we don't mix tea towels and napkins, well we don't mix cabbage and tomatoes either.

In organic farming , so that the plantations are doing well and that the soil is rich in nutrients for the roots , special attention is paid to cereals , legumes and other plants that are planted in the surroundings.

Like us, plants have friends and enemies, life is good and we can't be in symbiosis with everyone, and that's quite normal. Some plants attract insects beneficial to growth, such as pollinators , or repel pests while others inhibit the growth of their neighbors. Handling the art of companion planting is real know-how… which is passed on! Knowing that alfalfa are protein-rich ferns that improve soil quality is a great tip to share.

In biodynamics , farmers pay particular attention to nature. Biodiversity is at the heart of the project and cultivation is done in harmony with the environment . Farmers know the land they work on and the crops they grow. They know the right associations to form a perrein ecosystem that is both good for the biotope and for the biocenosis . Using these two terms is class, isn't it?

More seriously, knowing the properties and benefits of the animals, plants and soils on which the farmer works is a priority to keep the land healthy. On this subject, we have also written articles on dry stone walls and scree , one on auxiliaries to protect the vine from parasites and one on the role of embankments, ditches and drainage channels in vineyards. if you want to know more.

Discover in this article how at Oé, we are committed to biodiversity

Biodiversity and the vine

While enjoying a glass of wine, we sometimes forget where it comes from and how it was grown. Yes, before being a sweet drink, wine is a grape, and to produce grapes, the vines evolve throughout the year .

Each year, the vine is a bit like a child going back to school. From year to year it matures, weather conditions change and its environment evolves. In nature things change and evolve. For a child to do well in school, several things are essential: a good teacher, pleasant and caring classmates, a suitable workspace and special attention to their needs. If we tell you that it's the same for the vine, do you believe us?

A good winegrower , ideal plant companionship , a well-maintained vineyard and appropriate care for the grape varieties grown . This is the key to success for a healthy vine. For that, you need a lot of elbow grease, knowledge and passion.

In organic viticulture , pesticides and chemical phytosanitary products are discarded to the delight of the earth and surrounding living species which are not very fond of these suffocating products. To pamper the soil and take care of the hectares of vines , the winegrowers favor natural fertilizers , such as horn dung and plant mixtures . Yes, the vine also has the right to its infusion to sleep peacefully.

To make good organic wines, natural wines and biodynamic wines , companionship in viticulture is essential. Wine estates also use the inter-row grassing technique instead of weeding the rows of vines . If you want to know more about the technical details, we tell you more in this article .

At Franck and Véronique, winegrowers for our good red Bordeaux , the cohabitation with nature is total and it is even the sheep who take care of the shearing. The vines have friends to talk to!

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Companion trees, a natural filter

When it's hot, the tree is our best friend. Lying down in the grass to take a nap, feeling like one with the earth and appreciating the coolness that the shade brings, is one of life's little pleasures, isn't it?

The tree has more than one trick up its sleeve, and if the joy that a piece of shade under its leaves provides is very real, it also acts as an air filter for the greatest pleasure of our lungs. Do you remember your SVT courses in college on photosynthesis ? Simply put, plants capture energy from the sun , carbon dioxide (also called CO2) and organic compounds in the soil to feed themselves. In return, they give us oxygen (also known as O2). If you are not familiar with all this, know that CO2 is an important greenhouse gas while O2 is a perfect gas for our breathing.

Logically, the Amazon is defined as the “lung of the earth”. The Amazonian forest is 6,700,000 km² of life. In this forest, which is one of the three largest virgin forests in the world, many animals and plants live. The animals prefer the beauty of Amazon landscapes to the view of a zoo cage.

The WWF reports that in this region of South America, you can find:

  • 40,000 plant species
  • 3,000 species of freshwater fish
  • 370 species of reptiles
  • 550 million hectares of forests

  • In recent years, global warming has caused us to experience overheated summers and been fatal to forests around the world. You have probably been marked by the fires in Australia… The images speak for themselves, the walls of flames are ringing the alarm bell. When in addition man gets involved and deforests en masse, particularly in the Amazon, for mining, agricultural and industrial operations, the planet is suffocating.

    At Oé, we therefore decided to manufacture cork stoppers from environmentally friendly FSC forests . We suggest you read this article to learn more about it.

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