In 1997, more than twenty years after winemaking started in earnest at Château de Bastet (link), Jean-Charles Aubert, father of current owner Julie, took the bold and forward-thinking decision to switch the whole estate over to biodynamic viticulture. Jean-Charles felt that chemical products were becoming more of a hindrance than a help, and a chance encounter with organic pioneer François Bouchet opened up a new panorama of possibilities: biodynamic agriculture! Although certainly not the inventor of this movement, Jean-Charles was nonetheless regarded by many contemporaries as an ‘idealist’, losing a number of his more conservative clients along the way. He wasted no time in introducing his daughter and son-in-law to the ways of biodynamic winemaking, and these days they proudly continue the work he started.
Château de Bastet is committed to this winemaking philosophy, which revolves around finding the ideal balance between the vines, the immediate ecosystem and the environment in general. Biodynamic winemaking means no chemical fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides. The soil is worked in the traditional manner, but with modern tools and vine-tending methods which are all about nurturing the plants, guaranteeing the quality of the grapes and respecting the health of wine-lovers. The guiding principles of biodynamic winemaking are as follows:
- the earth and the plants are nourished using preparations made with natural plant, animal and material substances
- these preparations are applied at precisely the right moment, determined with reference to the natural vegetative cycle of the vines as well as the lunar and planetary calendars
- the soil is ploughed and the grass trimmed
The wines of Château de Bastet bear the Demeter label, certifying that they are products of biodynamic agriculture.