Jean-Jacques, Rémi Bonnet and Vincent Pineau, all three passionate winegrowers, operate Domaine Bonnet-Huteau, an estate that has been in the family for more than 150 years. It’s found in the centre of the Sèvre et Maine appellation, a beautiful region not far from Nantes on the banks of the Sèvre Nantaise.
As biodynamic winemakers, they strive to develop the full range of flavours of high-expression Muscadet and the minerality of each terroir. Some of their wines are even made in amphorae, large terracotta eggs used to allow the wines to breathe naturally; combined with ageing on the lees, the Domaine’s wines are able to have low levels of sulfites added. With respect for their natural environment and a commitment to organic and biodynamic processes, the Domaine produces some truly unique low-intervention wines.
WHAT IS BIODYNAMIC WINE?
Biodynamic wines are made using a series of farming procedures developed from the work of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. There’s a focus on the entire vineyard as an ecosystem, with the vines co-existing with other plants, animals and the soil.
There’s a commitment to the cycles of the moon, strict fertilization preparations (including burying manure in a cow’s horn over the winter!) and many other recommended farming practices. Although biodynamic wines are made in an organic way, they have different certification methods (from bodies like Demeter and Biodyvin) and slightly different rules concerning sulfites.
One thing that separates biodynamic wine producers from many other winemakers is the intense ways they care for the land. All biodynamic farming principles used are concerned with caring for the vineyard ecosystem as a whole. So if you find a biodynamic wine, you can be pretty sure the producers have been thinking long and hard about how to create green, sustainable wines.
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