A vital component of our organic winemaking process and sustainable winery relates to water management. We do so by monitoring the irrigation system closely and constantly, maximizing rainwater infiltration and restoring the onsite reservoir to use collected rainwater in the future. In this way, we ensure a totally eco-friendly wine. 
Factors we must take into consideration include the Mediterranean rainfall, which is low or non-existent in the summer and concentrated mainly in autumn and winter, with low frequency but high intensity. The abruptness of the rainfall and the relief of the land encourage soil erosion, which can lead to the loss of terroir. The vegetation of the forest massif has experienced 4 fires in the past 100 years, making this phenomenon all the more pronounced. High temperatures accentuate the evapotranspiration of vegetation, which also increases the risk of fire.  

Nevertheless, we have improved infiltration on our sustainable vineyards by reducing water speeds and de-compacting the soils with cover crops, which also protects against erosion and fire, while the upcoming reuse of wastewater will diminish water consumption further. 

REGENERATIVE HYDROLOGY

To further combat erosion and improve the soil water reserves of our sustainable vineyards, we are implementing the principles of regenerative hydrology: slow down, distribute, infiltrate and store. A study of water management on the estate was carried out to introduce nature-based solutions sized and positioned in the best locations to meet the above principles. Before applying these solutions to the estate's 150ha of land, we defined a trial area for the various structures, which include swales, temporary ponds, buffer basins and drainage ditches.

These structures demonstrated their effectiveness from the very first rains, significantly reducing water velocity, storing and infiltrating part of the water and acting as a sediment filter. In addition to enriching the soil with water, these wetlands are conducive to the development of dense biodiversity and the organic winemaking process. Our forest replanting program following the fire of 2017 on 15% of our wooded area, will also help to maintain the soil and slow down, store and infiltrate water.
Château Galoupet's water reserve in the protected woodland surrounding the organic provence vineyards

SUSTAINABLE VITICULTURE

Alongside water management, the application of sustainable or regenerative viticulture practices enables us to enrich the soil with organic matter, or carbon, which in turn enables it to store more water like a sponge. The estate's agroforestry hedges and interstitial strips also enrich the soil and provide shade in the same way as our plant cover. Furthermore, the vines are trained to draw water from deep underground.
A view of the organic vineyard of Château Galoupet Cru Classé Côtes de Provence facing the Mediterranean sea during a sunny afternoon.