The news Club Leflaive

The Hand
of Man

The Hand of Man

The vine makes the wine. To produce its best, the vine must draw its energy from the sensitive intelligence of natural phenomena. It is up to the vintner to promote a rich, living environment, in harmony with the forces of nature. Domaine Leflaive has been cultivating its vines biodynamically for more than 25 years. This uncompromising and yet so pragmatic ethic is also a quest for excellence. This is how great wines are born.

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Praising sobriety, the Leflaive philosophy

You have to respect the vine so that it gives its best. To work on it meticulously, with a limited number of means that lets nature express itself. The Leflaive family has carried these values from the start: when Joseph Leflaive undertook to replant the vineyard after the phylloxera crisis, he tried to adapt to each climat so it reveals its personality. Today, all plots, from the simplest to the most sought-after grand cru, are monitored with the same attention to singularity.

In recent years, acquisitions of vines in Côte de Beaune and in the Mâconnais region have been added to the vines of Puligny, at the origin of Domaine Leflaive and were immediately converted to biodynamics. In the Hautes Côtes de Beaune, the planting of vines in 2021 in a set of meadows with great potential followed a patient process of observation of the behavior of the soil, preservation of the ecosystem in place, respect for biodiversity...

Best practices apply everywhere because the quest for excellence inspires the daily actions of the Domaine Leflaive teams.

The high standards of biodynamic winemaking 

Beyond the benefits of organic farming, which excludes any chemical treatment, biodynamics bolsters the health of the vine, improves the quality of the soil, preserves the balance of fauna and flora, respects terrestrial and lunar rhythms. Tightly controlled yields and harvest at good maturity complete this wisdom of action to promote the expression of each terroir to produce vibrant wines.


The high standards of biodynamic winemaking 

Biodynamics is neither a dogma nor an end in itself. It is a requirement of respect, of observation of nature to bring it what it needs. It is a way to move towards ever more excellence, more beauty. It is also a know-how that is shared between the teams of Domaine Leflaive and those who come to study them with us. 


The high standards of biodynamic winemaking 

The knowledge accumulated on the historic vineyard of Puligny-Montrachet serves the implementation of the best biodynamic practices in the vines of the Mâconnais region, acquired more recently.



"Looking for details, every day" 


“We are looking every day for the detail that will bring more precision to our farming practices. Biodynamics is our base, rigor our daily life: doing well, at the right time. The opposite of systematism, which makes no distinction regardless of the plot. We may spend more time in a vineyard in the Bourgogne appellation than in the grand cru, because the land is sensitive to humidity, where grass grows more easily, where our teams work the soil more regularly.

The pruning of the vine is an ancestral practice on which we are also looking for details of improvement. We introduced the Simonit and Sirch pedagogy because it has proven itself. Nothing revolutionary, they themselves say. An example: we dared not bend all the vine sticks in the same direction for fear of breaking them. With them, we dared! The interest? Avoid piles of vegetation, and therefore potential diseases, as well as large pruning wounds, which are traumatic for the wood. In the end, we prolong the longevity of the vines. And an old vine gives better wines because it produces fewer, more qualitative grapes. The vine makes wine well because there are no great wines with bad grapes.”

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The virtues of horse ploughing

At the Domaine, the plots of grands crus and some premiers crus such as Les Pucelles are ploughed by horse. Far from being an artifice, the practice is of real agronomic interest. In addition to supplanting the use of weedkillers and offering a carbon neutral footprint, the passage of the horses makes it possible to compact the soil less and favour organic life. You just have to walk between the rows of vines to realize that the earth there is very soft, like a cotton mattress. The roots will more easily dive and explore the deep part of the soil, the true nature of the terroir. Horses are also useful for their precision work, especially on quality plots of old vines: they can feel the resistance of a vine and mark time, when a mechanized machine would catch it and often uproot it. We have three horses currently living in Puligny-Montrachet, pampered by the Domaine‘s caretaker.