Since 1614 we write the history of Alsace wine

Vineyards and Terroirs

Biodynamie of the domaine

Biodynamie

 

Introduction

"We have made a commitment for patience and rigourous work when we decided to adopt a biodynamic approach to raise our vines. This commitment was made to bring back the generosity and the true expression of our terroirs. Our hard work is largely rewarded when comes the time of a tasting."

Jean-Baptiste ADAM

"Without life in the soil, there cannot be a Terroir effect."

  • Biodynamie is a natural method inspired by antique viticultural techniques and brought back to life by rigorous viticulture. Influenced by cosmic and terrestrial currents, it balances the life of the soil which feeds the vines and gives a strong identity to the grapes. "Allow the vine grow to its final expression."
  • The new wines are planted in rows spread by 150 to 80 cm, which gives a density of 8300 vine/hectare. Because they have to compete for nutrition, the roots dig vertically in the soil to bring out the full expression of the terroirs.
  • Biodynamic viticulture considers vines as a living organisms. It strengthens their immune system to protect them from diseases, and parasites without using pesticides, insecticides, or any other chemical treatments.
  • Enemies of the vines are kept at tolerable level by developing of all living entities with natural herbal solutions. All through the year, Jean-Baptiste Adam and his team pays close attention to each individual vine parcel. The decision to harvest is made in collaboration with winemaker. In order to keep the berries intact, the grapes are directly placed into most modern pneumatic presses. The purity of aromas is therefore preserved. The vinification takes place at its own pace at controlled temperature.

We have chosen to produce racy wines, who give the most sincere expression of the terroir. Our vinification is custom made for each vintage.

Le terroir Letzenberg avant le buttage du sol Le terroir Letzenberg après le débutage du sol
Letzenberg terroir
befor plowing the soil
Letzenberg terroir
after plowing the soil
  • December, January, February: Winter pruning
  • Mars, April : Work of the soil, plantation, vine binding
  • May, June : During blooming season, green work : training vine on wires, soil work, vine treatment
  • July : Green work of the soil : trimming, liage, training vine on wires, vine treatment
  • August : Last treatment, mowing et thinning out the leaves
  • September, October : Maturation, Harvest
  • November : Preparation and placement of the compost

Our biodynamic treatments prevent the use of pesticides, and insecticides. Instead, we use natural products such as sulfur, copper, herbal tea solutions.

  • Training the vine on wires : Fixing vine-shoot on wires
  • Clipping : Shortening of the twigs in order to preserve a balanced leaf surface
  • Thinning out the leaves : reduction of the leaf surface before the slow maturing of the fruits, which more exposed to the sun will produce more polyphenols, which are essential to the quality of the wine.
  • Horn compost (500) : obtained by the underground fermentation during winter season with top quality cow manure carefully stuffed into cow horns. After being buried in the soil for 5 months, it will become an organic substance, which diluted and enhanced will be regularly sprayed in the vines. The 500 solution is made to enrich the soil in order to feed the roots of the plants. It preferably sprayed when the moon is decreasing, in fruit days (according to the semis calendar), and preferably at the end of the day. dynamineur en action
    a booster in action
  • Effect of the 500 : it is a powerful enhancer of the soil structure. It will stimulate the microbe activity and the humus formation.
    It will regulate the pH of the soil by increasing the pH of acidic soils and by reducing the ones of alkaline soils.
    It stimulates blooming of the seeds, the general strengthening of the root system, and facilitates a deeper vertical root development.
    It stimulates blooming of the seeds, the general strengthening of the root system, and facilitates a deeper vertical root development.
    It increases the development the formation of little lumps on the roots via bacterial action, contributing to azote fixation.
    It helps the dissolution of mineral foundations even deep in the soil (alios).
    dynamineur en action
    Horn manure after transformation
  • Horn Silicium Oxide (501) : is complimentary and acts polarly with the 500. It is obtained after placing in the soil during the summer season, the cow horns in which was added crushed quartz in a colloidal state. The spraying takes places in high pressure, similar to a thin mist going up, in order to let the silicium fall back on the leaves. It must be sprayed before 8 am, as close to dawn as possible, but never before. dynamineur en action
    Horn silicium oxyde after transformation
  • Effect of the 501 : it brings vigor and luminous quality to the plant.
    It reduces risk of disease.
    It favors the vertical growth of the leaf system.
  • The compost : this organic supplement is crucial to the microbe activity in the soil. It is composed of cow manure, grape marc, twigs, and dead leaves. It is spread on each parcel during the fall, which are plowed during the next winter. Its purpose is to revitalize and restructure the soil.

    Our compost is completed by biodynamic preparations (millefeuille 502, camomille 503, nettle 504, oak bark 505, dandelion 506, and valerian 507), which will affect the regularity of the increasing temperature and favor the preservation of nitrates and phosphates. Notre compost Complément végétal naturel ajouté au compost
    Our compost
    Vegetable natural supplement
    added to the compost
    Epandage du compost à la main
    Hand spreading the compost
  • Plowing the soil with a horse: our vineyard manager chose to plow the soil on descending moon when the grass grows slow. This technique allows us to gain a week! On steep hills, the horse is the best tool to plow as it prevents the soil from being compressed (semelle de battance). Labour par le cheval
    The horse plowing
    on a steep hill
  • Harvesting by hand with carriers : even if it is not a principle of biodynamie, hand harvest remains the best solution to keep the integrity of each berry. Notre joyeuse équipe de vendangeurs
    Our happy harvest team
  • The vines are trimmed in perigee or in apogee depending on the desired vigorousity of the vine. The week ones are trimmed in apogee; meanwhile Pinot Noirs are trimmed in perigee.

Interview of our Vineyard Manager

The Vineyard Manager reevalutates his methods and strategies season after season. With every member of his team, he strives to achieve harmony and balance for the vine and the grapes,
“feeding off observation, strict guidelines and instinct”.

calendrier_semis.jpg

Why did you choose to cultivate the vines in biodynamie ?

We were organic (bio) for many years, and after three years of technical training and observation, I understood that biodynamic viticulture is directly linked to the cosmic rhythms, and to the zodiac constellation influence of the moon. The Semis Calendar guides me in elaborating the different steps of this culture. In other words, we are simply coming back to the most ancient viticulture techniques.


Please describe one of your favorite steps of biodynamic viticulture.

I particularly enjoy the preparation of the biodynamic compost: it helps the evolution of the compost phenomenon, but also contributes to the betterment and the conservation of nitrates and phosphates. There are six distinct plant preparations referred to as number 502 to 507.

502 : achillee milfoil 505 : bark of oak
503 : chamomile 506 : dandelion
504 : nettle 507 : valerian

What are the main effects of Biodynamie ?

I find that the soil structure becomes suppler, less compact due prolipheration of microbe life and to the formation of humus. Also, we established a very nice regularity in the vines with a great balance between leaves and fruits.

How does your team live biodynamic viticulture on a daily basis ?

The team finds the experience very positive and enriching: biodynamie allows us to work the vine in the « cleanest » way possible. No chemical weeding, no pesticide neither for the nature. Furthermore, he team really appreciates the result of its meticulous work when comes the time of a tasting, and is righteously convinced that great wines come, first and foremost, from great work in the vines !

What brings the label AB that you are adding to your bottles since 2007 ?

The AB label is the accomplishment of numerous years of meticulous work in the vine. It will help our customers understand in the blink of an eye, the great efforts made by our team all through the year, in making the best possible wines, and our firm commitment to preserving the earth a healthy place to pass on to our children.

Grands Vins de JBA

Grands Vins « Les Grands Vins de Jean-Baptiste ADAM » produced in our domaine following the strict guidelines of biodynamie, the grapes are hand harvested, and carefully handpicked once in the cellar. The alcoholic fermentation takes place without requiring the addition of yeast in order to produce Wines with great complexity, offering the highest expression of our magnificent terroirs.

These efforts are rewarded by wines expressing the finesse of terroirs. It is our greatest satisfaction.

This elegant bottle, dead leaf colored amplifies the exceptional character of these great wines.

After three years of bottle maturation, beginning with the 2007 vintage, we will add the mention “Agriculture Biologique” on the back label for the “Les Grands Vins de Jean-Baptiste ADAM” wines.

 
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Jean-Baptiste Adam
5, rue de l'Aigle
F- 68770 Ammerschwihr
Tel : +33 (0)3 89 78 23 21
Fax : +33 (0)3 89 47 35 91
jbadam@jb-adam.fr