Pioneer of sustainable viticulture in Quebec
Since the first days, the Vineyard has been managed with knowledge, rigor and good farming sense.
The reasoned culture of the vine requires thinking about each intervention according to the realities of the moment. It reconciles respect for the environment and the economic sustainability of the company, because there is no sustainable viticulture without viable exploitation.
Since 1996, we have been using methods that aim to increase the biodiversity of the Vineyard and improve the health of our soils.
Retention of predatory insectsFavor wildflowers to attract beneficial insects
Our phacelia, Japanese millet and chicory weeds between the vines do an excellent job of retaining predatory insects. The latter will naturally feed on insect pests of the vine, which allows us to naturally regulate insect populations.
Bird communitiesNesting boxes to promote the nesting of insectivorous birds
Installed and maintained by a partner organization, Pleins Rayons , more than 100 nesting boxes are arranged around the vineyard. They favor the nesting of tree swallows and bluebirds, birds in significant decline in Quebec. Each of these insectivores can consume more than 1,000 insects per day, during the nesting period.
Presence of bats
Many shelters for bats are installed on the Vineyard. A single one of them is able to eat between 1500 and 3000 insects in one night! They sleep during the day and hunt vine pest insects at night. They are valuable allies that also help us regulate insect populations.
Foxes are naturally present around the vineyard. We are careful not to interfere with their habitat. They are natural allies, because they feed in particular on field mice which otherwise gnaw the vine plants under canvas in winter.
Research and development
Since 1995, the Orpailleur has actively participated in research on its biodiversity.
We have participated in studies on the dynamics of insect pests, predatory insects and vine diseases.
Thanks to these years of research, we can notably measure, quantify and evaluate the potential impact of each insect on the future harvest.
Cover crops and green manures
We are testing new cover crop seeds to assess their potential to improve vineyard biodiversity, reduce erosion and diversify micro-organisms in our soils. Our recent trials: Phacelia • Japanese millet • Flax • Winter peas • Crimson clover • Fenugreek...
Compost and compost tea
We are participating in a research project on soil revitalization using compost tea application. In 2023, a second project is starting to study the effects of different biological amendments to improve soil structure, measure the potential for reducing the carbon footprint and increase the resilience of vines against pests (arthropods, diseases and viruses).
We limit the passages in heavy machinery and group the works. By moving less often between the vines, we reduce the opportunities for soil compaction and the combustion of fossil fuels, priorities for us. Good drainage is maintained and facilitates the deep work of the roots of the vines so that they can draw the nutrients they need.
To obtain quality grapes, good organic matter should be provided from time to time. In the spring, we spread compost in rotation on certain plots, which improves the biological activity of the soil and increases its capacity to nourish the vines.
We maintain floral bands around the Vineyard and between the plots of vines. These wild flowers are essential feeding sites and refuges for beneficial insects, mites and spiders which ensure the natural repression of insect pests of the vine.