Château La Rose Perrière successfully completed its conversion and obtained certification in organic farming.

2023 marks the culmination of work initiated at Château La Rose Perrière three years ago but above all the reward for an approach adopted a decade ago. It has already been ten years since we opted for a reasoned approach to our activity so that our farming practices preserve the biological balance of nature as much as possible. The achievement of our sustainable wine production philosophy has just been rewarded with organic farming certification on July 25th, 2023.


The genesis


At the origin of this conversion, a common desire and values shared by the Sylvain family and the vineyard team. Our deep conviction was and remains that the vineyard should be integrated into its environment for the well-being of the vines, the people and the site. This operating philosophy was quickly anchored in the vineyard's day-to-day operations, i.e. in operating and production practices, in employee training and in the choice of techniques and products. A global reflection was carried out and an action plan put in place.


Jean-Luc et Claire Sylvain et Bruno Celerier echangent autour d’une degustation des vins du vignoble


HVE Label

The first official recognition obtained in 2018, the level 3 HVE (High Environmental Value) certification highlighted the sustainable dynamic adopted by the Château la Rose Perrière team for several years already. Therefore it objectively testified to our good environmental practices in our wine production : daily work was carried out by our team with the constant concern to reduce the environmental impact, to maintain and develop biodiversity within and around the plots. and to promote the development of vine auxiliaries, essential for the regulation of pests. In particular, the aim was to reintroduce an agroforestry system that re-establishes plant symbioses, thus promoting a balance that the coplantation of species once allowed.

Logo Haute Valeur Environnementale orange

This virtuous viticulture also involved limiting the use of inputs to preserve the natural ecosystem. This approach complements the AB label, which assesses the various points differently. For example, AB contributes to the maintenance of biodiversity through the absence of synthetic chemical products, but the evaluation of the biodiversity of the vineyard and the recovery of waste is not included in the certification, whereas it is in HVE. These are two complementary labels.


What is organic agriculture or viticulture?

Organic farming has been governed by European regulations since 1991. Conversion to organic agriculture or viticulture is a global project that cannot be improvised and must be thought through in advance. This is a progressive remodeling of the vineyard in terms of production and marketing. To do this, it is first necessary to carry out a diagnosis prior to the conversion in order to identify the strong points and weak points of the vineyard, whether in terms of techniques, equipment, labor work and distribution circuit, and thus determine the necessary changes to consider and initiate. The commercial strategy must also often be rethought and adapted to the new mode of production. For Château la Rose Perrière, the work initiated as part of HVE level 3 certification facilitated this diagnosis, with organic conversion being a logical continuation of HVE certification.

Secondly, a conversion period is necessary. It allows in particular the cleaning of the ground and ensures a transition period during which the specifications are respected but the products (grapes, wines) cannot yet be marketed under the AB logo.


Logo Agriculture Biologique et l’eurofeuille

The stakes

Organic viticulture is based on reflection on its entire system. The technical challenges of a conversion from conventional viticulture are real. Indeed, the conversion to organic viticulture is the most demanding in terms of reducing the use of phytosanitary products and chemical fertilizers usually used in conventional viticulture to fight against certain diseases (mildew, powdery mildew, insect pests, etc.). For example, copper and sulfur are among the rare fungicides authorized and benefiting from a marketing authorization (AMM) in France. Thus, the winegrower is forced to adopt new complementary techniques to fight against diseases, promote the growth and maturation of the grapes and hope for an optimal yield.

Among the main technical issues, we distinguish:

  • The complete replacement of herbicides and synthetic products (fungicides, insecticides and fertilizers) with natural products and mineral products.
  • The implementation of phytosanitary protection based on products authorized by the AB specifications (copper and sulfur in particular). For example, the use of copper to combat downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) is currently approved in viticulture with formulations authorized by organic farming specifications. To avoid the harmful effects due to an excess concentration of copper, regulatory restrictions on use (capping of applicable doses per hectare and per year) have obviously been put in place.
  • Soil and fertility management. The use of manure from organic farming farms and the use of grass cover will be necessary in certain cases (weed management, promoting soil microbial activity, combating erosion).

Le travail du sol dans la vigne au Château La Rose Perriere

The requirements do not only concern viticulture. Indeed, since 2012, precise specifications for organic winemaking have been integrated into the European regulations for organic farming. The goal of organic winemaking is to reduce external physical and chemical interventions as much as possible so that the wine, the final product, is not affected by multiple processing stages. These rules of organic winemaking allow the certification of wine and no longer just grapes:

  • a list of authorized additives and oenological auxiliaries has been established for each stage of winemaking.
  • certain physical wine treatment processes such as partial dealcoholization of wine or partial cold concentration have been banned.
  • The maximum levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2) have been defined.

Traceability of winemaking operations must therefore be guaranteed by the winegrower-winemaker with a view to controls relating to these practices.


The certification process

In conventional viticulture, European regulations require going through a conversion period lasting three years during which all of the production rules of Organic Agriculture (AB) must have been implemented on the plots concerned. Annual checks are carried out by approved inspection bodies during these 36 months.

Note that French and European organic farming labels are now common (AB logo + Euroleaf). They apply to the final product (grapes, champagne, wine) and not to the farm.


And now ?

Organic certification is above all a way of guaranteeing to you, consumers, the reliability of organic products, of our wines meeting strict requirements at the production and processing levels. At Château La Rose Perrière, certification will appear on the labels of our 2023 vintage. Annual controls by approved organizations will continue to guarantee that we always respect these AB specifications. Apart from respect for the latter, for the Sylvain family it is a real conviction in the merits of their approach which they wish to perpetuate and pass on.

Certification in organic farming is restrictive and does not come without some challenges. Among them and despite the growing area occupied by organic crops, winegrowers must face variable yields, problems of managing harmful insects and the need to inform consumers about organic products. As the saying goes, “forewarned, forearmed.” Maintaining high quality wines while limiting agricultural and wine production techniques to those authorized by legislation relating to organic production constitutes a real challenge for the wine grower. Jean-Luc and Claire Sylvain know that they can rely on the know-how and experience of the team to meet this challenge on a daily basis.

To find our first organic wines labeled AB, the 2023 vintage, go directly to the vineyard  in September 2025 for our reds. Our Château La Rose Perrière White is already available for pre-order !