Operating in an ancient flint career

Barre à Mine 2017  20/20    Article Matthew JUKES -12/07/2019


In 2009 we began a titanic and unique project in an old disused flint quarry called Les Champs des Froids in the village of Tracy Sur Loire.

The site has a beautiful south west exposure and we have cleared, prepared and planted a new vineyard on these very rocky flint soils.

Unusually we had to use a big mechanical digger to help break up the monumental flint bolders which are known as cuirasses. We then had to resort to explosives, working with a specialist company, to make this vineyard workable by tractor.

We now have four hectares under vine, planted employing massale selection, at a density of 10 000 vines per hectare. Due to the nature of this vineyard we planted with the aid of a crowbar or Barre à Mine rather than the more usual pick axe.

We harvested and vinified our first wine from this site in the unexpectedly exceptional 2014 vintage.

In memory of this colossal project we have named this vineyard Barre à Mine.