Going Green: Organic Practices in Modern Winemaking
Saturday, September 22, 2012 • 6:25pm
SUMMIT, NJ- Organic practices in modern winemaking took center stage on Saturday afternoon at the Summit Wine & Food Festival at The Grand Summit Hotel.
Owner of Chateau Maris, Robert Eden, explained how he created his original organic winemaking concepts due to some unfortunate findings after purchasing Cheateau Meris in La Liviniére, Southern France.
“I was sad and upset when I found out the grapes were sick. The grapes weren’t healthy and their odor and taste wasn’t good,” Eden said.
He explained that he spent several years learning what exactly went wrong with the grapes, and discovered that chemical fertilizers and pesticides were to blame.
“Look after your soil was the best piece of advice I ever received,” said Eden, and was also the turning point for his winery.
Eden created his “green wines” by being a pioneer in bio-dynamic farming. He explained that the quality of soil is a crucial aspect when creating wine.
Part of the bio-dynamic method is creating compost from cow manure because it produces richer, higher quality soil, Eden explained.
He also explained that using plants such as Stinging Nettle, helps protect the plants naturally without using harsh pesticides.
Eden explained that not only are the ingredients organic, but everything from the building materials to the fermentation tanks are, as well.
“The bricks are constructed from hemp straw and there is no metal inside the fermentation tanks,” Eden said. “This is possible because the tanks are in an egg shape, so it makes them stable to stand.”
Regarding how important going green is, Eden said, “It takes a hit to wake up and realize the damage we’re creating environmentally. It’s amazing how ignorant we are about that.”
The tasting included four different wines. The first, Old School, made with a blend of syrah grapes, the second, La Touge, made with single syrahs, the third, Cru Classé Du Languedoc made with carignan grapes, and the fourth, Les Planels, made with single syrah grapes.
Cheateau Maris is available in liquor stores throughout New York and New Jersey.