At the Château de Plaisance, focus on vitiforestry

When Vanessa Cherruau bought the Château de Plaisance, in Anjou, two years ago, it was already organic and biodynamic.

At the Château de Plaisance, focus on vitiforestry

When Vanessa Cherruau bought the Château de Plaisance, in Anjou, two years ago, it was already organic and biodynamic. But the young woman wanted to push the envelope further with vitiforestry, in order to recreate "a complete ecosystem" on the bald hillock of Chaume.

To bring biodiversity back to its 25 hectares, it undertook to restore a sanitary cordon of hedges around the estate and to plant rows of trees for 2 kilometers along the edge of the vines, sacrificing several rows of chenin per plot. "It's a radical transformation of the landscape," she admits.

The League for the Protection of Birds and Mission Bocage have selected local species - alders, oaks, cherry trees, walnut trees, lime trees ("not maritime pines!") - whose taproots "should sink into the ground without compete with those of the vine". There are also apple, pear, peach and almond trees, "supposed to bear fruit offset from the grape". The trees are planted in a north-south direction "for coolness, but without bringing too much shade. At least, that's what we hope", confides the winemaker.

We experiment. The know-how has been lost." Vanessa Cherruau, whose dry chenins melt away prejudices about the sweet wines of Chaume, wants to fight against the worm of the grape. And, for that, criss-cross the estate with higher perches than the vines, at 3 meters or more, in order to create passageways for bats.Eventually, she dreams of a bioclimatic cellar to perfect her ecological oasis.

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