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About La Renaissance des Appellations

An Introduction

For those of you who may be discovering Renaissance (www.biodynamy.com)åÊfor the first time, and may not speak French (!),åÊLa Renaissance des AppellationsåÊliterally means theåÊRebirth of Appellations. More specifically, it questions the accepted conventional wisdom that conventionally farmed Appellations and the wines produced therein necessarily reflect theiråÊterroiråÊ- or sense of place. Members of the group have to adhere to a strict Charter of Quality, which can be explored below.

As an introduction to the association, here is an email from Nicolas Joly, La Coul̩e de Serrant (one of the founding domaines of La Renaissance des Appellations):

La Renaissance was created informally in 2001 by ten or so vignerons who shared the same philosophy with regards to both terroir and biodynamics. All other groups around at that point - type "gens de metier" - didn't, in their opinion, provide enough guarantees for the consumer. The Renaissance vignerons wanted to be able to guarantee a minimum of quality for the wine drinker and so they obliged all participating domaines to be certified organic but more importantly to conform with their draconian Charter of Quality!

Being 10 or even 15 vignerons, everyone knew each other and each one could vouch for the good agricultural practices of the others. Bit by bit, more and more vignerons wanted to join us and we shot past 60 pretty quickly. However, we still knew each other and how each other worked and as such the group remained an informal structure and had not yet begun to exist as a legal entity.

The first tastings we held were incredibly successful and our group's existance spread like wild fire ('une trainee de poudre) and with it came more and more requests to join. Growth brought with it a need for structure, precision regarding requirements and rules, and we also had to begin a verification process to check agricultural practices since 'fake organic' producers had started to knock at the door...

So, we created a committee, made up of the founding members (my father, Anne Claude Leflaive, Pierre Morey, Olivier Humbrecht, Ph du Roy de Blicquy), together with a yearly meeting and wine tasting to check through the applications of vignerons wishing to join the group. The wines we look for are wines with soul; wines that are not what one might call 'technical/manufactured wines'. Thanks to a few well known vignerons who joined our group at the beginning, we were lucky to generate great momentum off the starting block and it helped get our name out there for people to hear about. But pretty quickly, it became more than that and Renaissance's reputation went from strength to strength thanks to the quality of its wines and its vignerons.

4 years ago, once the structure and number of members had grown to 130 and become large enough to warrant it, we created the official Association, which remained true to its initial criteria - organic and biodynamic farming, the Charter of Quality and the tasting of wines looking to join.

Today we unite some 180 members: from the small, unknown domaine to the large houses of prestige and everything in between. And the stories of our adventures together just get richer - some days I might get a call from a panicked vigneron who has never been on a plane before and desperately wants to know what happens after take-off, åÊwhile others I might end up hearing from a vigneron who, thanks to a contact made at one of our fairs, he has been able to pull himself out of the red.

And that's what the Renaissance des Appellations is all about. Yes, it is about fine wine of exceptional quality but it is also about the solidarity between vignerons, a fight for truth and the authentic taste of terroir.åÊ<

Nicolas Joly

Savenni̬res

7 February 2012

La Renaissance's Charter of Quality:

(English version followed by the French)

The system of evaluation outlined below does not speak in terms of "bio" or "not bio", but simply of actions which permit an Appellation to express itself. Thus one can go from one to three "green" stars, adding to this the usual notations used by wine guides. This system encourages the wine-maker to do his best, and it informs the client of the effects of gestures in the fields or in the cellar on the expression of the Appellation.

1/ Obtaining one star

Wine from a controlled appellation of origin has a particular taste liked to the expression, a type of soil, and a climate. Agriculture should therefore reinforce the organic life of the soil and avoid all synthetic chemical products.

No weed-killers that destroy the life of the soil.

No chemical fertiliser which causes a strong and atypical growth. These fertilisers are salts. The plant needs to drink more, thus to grow more compensate for the excess salt imposed on it.

No synthetic chemical product a they can falsify the photosynthesis and thus the taste of the wine.

No systemic treatment-absorbed by the sap in half an hour-wich, besides a negative effect on the metabolism of the plant on photosynthesis, and on roots (affect mycorhize), can be found in the grape in the form of residues.

No aromatic yeast which leads to atypical taste of wines.

2/ Obtaining two stars

In recent years the formidable advance of technology permits us to re-create the tastes that an inadequate agriculture had falsified. A return to the good practices renders this technology useless, and leaves each wine its original taste, without misleading the consumer.

No mechanical harvesting, in order to obtain optimal maturity.

No exogenous yeast that is a stranger to the place.

No treating of the must with enzymes. Healthy agriculture bestows an abundance of colour etc.

No concentrator that works by inverted osmosis. This process can bring about imbalances, especially in ageing.

No cryoextraction which falsifies the balance of the wine.

No cold treatment that reaches the freezing point.

3/ Obtaining three stars

No deacidifying or reacidifying-which change the balance of the wine.

No addition o ascorbic acid, nor of potassium sorbate.

No chaptalization, including concentrated must.

All the wine-makers have adopted this charter will have authentic, and thus inimitable wine; since the relationship between soil and climate has everywhere on earth a different "face".

The wine-maker signing this charter in the presence of a notary public commits him to respecting this code of ethics during the entire cycle of his production. He is informed that he can be inspected at any time by a member of the group.

Nicolas Joly

 

---

Le goÌÈt du vin ne peut naturellement atteindreåÊ son originalitÌ© et devenir inimitable que par l‰Ûªempreinte de son terroir et de son microclimat. Partout sur la Terre le rapport des 4 composantsåÊ: chaleur, luminositÌ©, hydromÌ©trie et gÌ©ologie se marient diffÌ©remment. C‰Ûªest lÌÊ la subtilitÌ© des AOC que la plante, vigne, olivier etc., saisit chaque fois ÌÊ sa mani̬re.

C‰Ûªest de cette comprÌ©hension qu‰Ûªest nÌ©e la grandeur des appellations qui garantissent aux consommateurs un gout liÌ© ÌÊåÊ l‰ÛªoriginalitÌ© d‰Ûªun lieu particulier.

Pour qu‰Ûªune vigne saisisse bien son terroir (minÌ©ralogie du sol et du sous-sol, orientation des pentes, ‰Û_) par ses racines, celui-ci doit Ì»tre vivant et donc exempt de dÌ©sherbants. Et pour bien capter le climat et ses multiples variantes (vents, ensoleillement, humiditÌ©, ‰Û_) la plante doit se dÌ©velopper de la mani̬re la plus naturelle possibleåÊ; En particulier, les feuilles doivent Ì»tre exemptes de produits chimiques de synth̬se qui troublent la photosynth̬se et l‰Ûªensemble du dÌ©veloppement de la plante vivante.

Quand une agriculture saine (biologie ou biodynamie) a bien permis, au lieu de s‰Ûªexprimer, les technologies de cave et les goÌÈts arbitraires qu‰Ûªelles peuventåÊ gÌ©nÌ©rer deviennentåÊ inutiles et nÌ©fastes ÌÊ cette expression. Le vin garde alors son goÌÈt d‰Ûªorigine et sa capacitÌ© de vieillissement, avec une transparence totale pour le consommateur.

N. Joly

Respectons ensemble la Charte de qualitÌ©åÊ:

Le syst̬me de cotation ci-dessous inclus prealablement toutes les exigences de l‰Ûªagriculture biologique et les dÌ©passe pour permettre a une appellation de s‰Ûªexprimer clairement.. On a dÌ©terminÌ© 3 stades.

Le 1eråÊstade donne des bases incontournables qui doivent Ì»tre appliquÌ©es sur l‰Ûªensemble de la propriÌ©tÌ© depuis au moins 3 ans.

Le 2̬meåÊstade est le prolongement naturel de cette philosophie.

Le 3̬meåÊstade est l‰Ûªaboutissement d‰Ûªune dÌ©marche de longue haleineåÊ; les conditions climatiques peuvent la remettreåÊ en question.

 

Ce syst̬me incite le viticulteur ÌÊ mieux agir et informe le client sur les åÊincidences des gestes agricoles ou de cave sur l‰Ûªexpression des appellations. Notre esprit n‰Ûªest pas de hiÌ©rarchiser chacun en fonction des actes que chacun a pu accomplir, mais au contraire de rapprocher ceux qui partagent une mÌ»me philosophie agricole, qu‰Ûªils soient producteurs, distributeurs ou consommateurs. Notre but est aussi de redonner aux AOC leur pleine signification, en France comme ÌÊ l‰ÛªÌ©tranger, et donc de s‰Ûªaffranchir d‰Ûªune concurrence que la technologie a considÌ©rablement amplifiÌ©e malgrÌ©åÊ l‰ÛªatypicitÌ© qu‰Ûªelle implique.

Tous les viticulteurs prÌ©sents dans le groupe Renaissance des Appellations rÌ©pondent au moins au niveau 1åÊ de la chartre ci-dessous. Leur acceptation nÌ©cessite l‰ÛªunanimitÌ© (et non la majoritÌ©) du comitÌ© de dÌ©gustation. Plus d‰Ûªinformations sont disponibles sur demande.

Le comitÌ© de Direction du åÊgroupe Renaissance des Appellations åÊcomprendåÊ:

-AlsaceåÊ: O.HumbrechtåÊ; JP FrickåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊ JuraåÊ: StÌ©phane Tissot

-ChampagneåÊ: D. LeclapartåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊ ItalieåÊ: S Bellotti

-BourgogneåÊ: A.C. Leflaive - P. MoreyåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊ EspagneåÊ: D Soto

-BordeauxåÊ: JL HubertåÊ; C LavalåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊ AllemagneåÊ: Ph Wittmann

-RhoneåÊ: P. du Roy de BlicquyåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊ AutricheåÊ: C Saahs, W Michlits

-Loire: N. JolyåÊ; Ph GourdonåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊ N. ZelandeåÊ: J Millton

-ProvenceåÊ: Raymond de VilleneuveåÊ; D HauvetteåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊ AustralieåÊ: J Castagna

-Languedoc RoussillonåÊ: JF Deu

 

1eråÊstadeåÊ: Les bases incontournablesåÊ:

Certification en agriculture biologique (apr̬s 3 ans de conversion) sur la totalitÌ© du vignobleåÊ et pratique de la biodynamie (depuis au moins 2 ans) Les points principaux (voir cahier des charges agriculture biologique) sontåÊ:

Travail des sols, ou enherbement, donc exclusion total des d̩sherbants.

Apport de compost ou d‰Ûªengrais organiques pour soutenir la vie microbienne des sols, donc exclusion des engrais chimiques qui dÌ©sorganisent les sols et le mÌ©tabolisme des vignes.

Utilisation exclusive de produits naturels pour lutter contre les maladies, donc exclusion totale de produits chimiques de synth̬se qu‰Ûªils soient de contact, pÌ©nÌ©trants ou systÌ©miques etc.åÊ (se rÌ©fÌ©rer au cahier des charges de l‰Ûªagriculture biologique pour plus de dÌ©tail).

Exclusion de plants de vigne g̩n̩tiquement modifi̩s.

Utilisation exclusive des levures indig̬nes du vignobleåÊ; exclusion de toutes levures dÌ©shydratÌ©es du commerce, aromatiquesåÊ ou neutres souvent gÌ©nÌ©tiques (plus de 35O sont autorisÌ©es dans les pays europÌ©ensåÊ!!!)åÊ; relevurage neutre permis pouråÊ les champagnes, mÌ©thodes champenoises ou crÌ©mants pour la prise de mousse.

Pas d‰Ûªajout de copeaux de chÌ»ne

Exclusion de l‰Ûªosmose inverse ainsi que de tout traitement physique ou chimique visant ÌÊ rÌ©duire l‰ÛªaciditÌ© volatile.

Exclusion de tout agent de pr̩cipitation (par ex CMC - Carboxy, Methyl Cellulosique)

Antioxydant : exclusion du sorbate de potassium ou de l‰Ûªacide ascorbique. Utilisation du soufre si besoin, naturel de prÌ©fÌ©rence. Ni le soufre ni les filtrations stÌ©rilisantes ne sont pleinement satisfaisantes. Le soufre est un produit naturel que la famille des crucif̬res (radis, moutarde etc.) et que la plupart des levures indig̬nes produisent. Soufre et/ou filtrations stÌ©riles restent dans un certain nombre de situations nÌ©cessaires. Un soufre volcanique est prÌ©fÌ©rable ÌÊ un soufre synthÌ©tique.

Exclusion de 200% de bois neuf.

Respect des processus de fermentation naturelle, donc exclusion de tout correcteur de carences azotÌ©es (sulfate, phosphates etc.), de tout agent activateur des fermentations (vitamines, thiamines, Ì©corces de levures etc.),åÊde tout ajout de bactÌ©ries, de tout enzymage ou de produits issus d‰Ûªune chimie de synth̬seåÊ; exclusion bien sur d‰Ûªadditifs aromatiques (autorisÌ©s dans certains pays )

2̬meåÊstadeåÊ: Aller plus loinåÊ:

Retour vers une vraie s̩lection massale par s̩lection manuelle des futurs plants de vigne pour respecter et accrǫtre la biodiversit̩ donc exclusion des clones pour toutes nouvelles plantations.

Respect des conditions naturelles de dÌ©veloppement de la plante y compris mÌ©tÌ©orologiques. Donc exclusion de toute forme d‰Ûªirrigation pour les pays producteurs europÌ©ens.

Vendange manuelle pour un meilleur respect des baies. Donc pas de vendange a la machine.

Respect de la richesse naturelle du vin donc exclusion de la chaptalisation et de tout proc̩d̩ industriel de concentration, y compris la cryo-extraction (cong̩lation du raisin).

Aucune modification de l‰ÛªÌ©quilibre naturel des moÌÈts ou du vinåÊ; interdiction de toute acidification, ou dÌ©sacidificationåÊ sous toutes ses formes.

Pas d‰Ûªajout de gomme arabique.

3̬meåÊstadeåÊ: Quand les conditions s‰Ûªy prÌ»tentåÊ:

Vendanges manuelles en plusieurs passages

Aucune filtration st̩rile ou m̻me inferieure de 2 microns. Non utilisation de centrifugeuse.

Aucun collage.

Certification agriculture biologique et biodynamique depuis au moins 7 ans (rÌ©tablissement complet de l‰ÛªÌ©quilibre de la vie).

Respect des conditions naturelles de dÌ©veloppement de la plante y compris mÌ©tÌ©orologiques. Donc exclusion de toute forme d‰Ûªirrigation pour les pays producteurs du nouveau monde.

En cas de conditions climatiques difficiles une dÌ©rogation exceptionnelle peut Ì»tre donnÌ©e en ce qui concerne les pratiques de cave. L‰ÛªintÌ©ressÌ© devra le noter dans le catalogue publiÌ© pour les manifestations duåÊ groupe.

Je soussignÌ©‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_..respecte le(s) stade(s)‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_.de la charte de qualitÌ© sur l‰Ûªensemble de ma production.

Fait ÌʉÛ_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_, le ‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_‰Û_

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