Listening to Didier Barral — the most careful and loving steward of nature — speak from among his vines in Lentheric is a religious experience.
But even if it feels religious, and even if Didier is a noted advocate of organic, Fukuoka-influenced hands-off farming, nothing about Didier’s discourse feels preachy. There are no exhortations; no imperatives. His persuasiveness flows from the stunning beauty of his 35 hectares of vines, and from the freshness and purity of his wines. He speaks for himself, and tells his story: one of observation, of trial and error in his vineyards.
At some point in your experience of wine, you grow interested in terroir. Rocks; slopes; drainage; expositions. Later, like it or not, you become interested in farming. Careful farming enables great wines, and is often the most reliable predictor of a wine’s ability to transmit terroir. 1
Didier is quick to contrast his neighbors’ vines with his own as a starting point to understanding his wines. What follows is my translation from French, with interjected bits of Didier’s English interwoven.
Didier: “Look at the difference in the grass between the neighbor’s vines and my vines. The key to soils is vegetative diversity. And what’s most important (Click to Read more)WANT MORE? SUBSCRIBE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.
- This is not to say all organically-farmed vines go on to make great wines; some taste like a horse’s ass. Skillful, responsible farming simply enables terroir-driven wines to rise from a cellar. [↩]