The Delobel Vineyard

The 12-hectare Delobel estate, which began converting to organic production in 2013, is located on the Oisly terroir in the Loire Valley. 85% of its vineyards are planted with Sauvignon Blanc – the young owner’s favourite grape –, a further two hectares with Gamay and Pineau d’Aunis, and the remainder with wines producing various fruity reds. The end products are AOC Touraine and Touraine-Oisly wines (the AOC label guarantees their origin).

The estate’s soils offer great variety. Most are made up of Sologne sands on a fairly acidic clay base but there are also calcareous clay marls "Aubuis" and flint soils "Perruches", which have the advantage of being able to warm up very quickly.

The estate’s vines (a third of which were planted more than 50 years ago) come mostly from a selection “massale” and in this way help to maintain the old vines’ production quality and aromatic complexity.

For Benjamin Delobel, the vineyard surrounded by woods was love at first sight. Its biodiversity provides a good balance between the various elements, enabling him to work serenely in organic production. Having an organic label was essential for someone like Benjamin, who thrives on contact with the land. Working on land that didn’t respect the ecosystem was simply out of the question as far as he was concerned. Consequently, the only additives he uses are those meeting the specifications of the organic label and are of natural origin; they include copper, natural sulphur dioxide, clay and herbal extracts. And thanks to the vineyard’s environment and biodiversity, a harmony between insects and vines was spontaneously created.

It goes without saying that all the work carried out on the vineyard respects nature as far as it is possible to do; for example, surface hoeing of the soil so as not to damage the roots and flora allowed to develop freely, thus ensuring the vines’ longevity. Strips of weeds are allowed to grow between the rows of vines and, depending on year, green fertilisers (plants grown among the vines) or organic compost in the form of chicken or cow manure are added, thereby ensuring good soil fertility.