Portrait : Didier Barral, the boss in Faugères

Didier Barral has gone a long way since the beginning of the nineties when he set up on the schist fatherly land of Lenthéric, in the Faugères appellation. In search of authentic expression of his terroir, he does not spare himself on the vine and has been producing reputed natural wines.

Didier Barral recreates an almost unique organic polyculture-farming system around his vines (cows grazing in the vines, crawler tractors to prevent tamping the soil, compost prepared out of recycled cardboard, bat nesting boxes). Here, all is done in a natural way, by hard labour and good sense to favour soils life. Such a long way has gone since taking over the vineyard in 1993. In order to improve the soil permeability, he first bets on earthworms, best allies of a fertile land. Today he reduces as much as possible the traffic of engines which drastically compresses the soil and does not practice any chemical treatment. He does not use any sulphur or copper. To enrich and favour earthworms, Didier purchased a herd of cattle and a few equids that graze the vines in winter. The animals bring organic substance to the plots and pre-prune the vine stocks by eating the high part of the vine shoots. Never short of ideas, Didier Barral multiply the attempts to help biological fight against parasites. Hedges were planted between the plots to host auxiliary species and a nesting box was built for the bats to provide a shelter for the precious night allies that eat lots of insects responsible of grape worm. In short, renowned wines, healthy, free, pleasant to drink and digestible … just maddening !


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