Château Fougas « Le plaisir et la terre se partagent »
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Fougas Castle - July 2021

Fougas Castle - July 2021

Dear Winemakers,

The veraison just began on our vineyard. The grapes acquire its tannins, resulting in a nice deep purple hue.


When we explain that we pulverise horn manure on your vineyard, some people think that we have some obscurantist practises.

Of course, pick up some gestating cow dung, introduce them within a horn, dig it up in the spring to spray it on the vineyard seems to be irrational or be part of the purest whimsy.

And yet...

This ancestral practice existed long before Steiner (the theosophist, and the bard of biodynamic agriculture) has integrated the “horn manure” in the courses offered to farmers. Horn manure was already widely used in Mediterranean countries and in Africa where it proved its effectiveness in non-temperate climates.


Recently, Italian researchers took an interest in the molecular composition of Horn Manure. Their research revealed a complex composition, but they especially demonstrated that the organic matter has a higher content of unstable molecules and of aromatic derivatives of lignin than vegetable compost and manure. These properties potentially enable the Horn Manure to produce a biological activity much more effective. Furthermore, researchers identified several molecules which work as plant hormones such as auxin, which is part of the five main hormones in plants. Auxin operates particularly in the development of the various parts of the plant, but also in the branching.


Italian researchers also tried to know what was happening in dung when this one remained within the horn during the winter, compared to other containers but also by observing its evolution in the lab. They observed and analysed the fungal and bacterial populations at different stages of maturation. Whereas the fungi are dominant in the fresh dung, the ratio is reversed after planting the horn. The ratio gets closer to that natural environment. These transformations were not taking place in the other containers or in the lab.  

In practice for our vineyard, we have discovered that by digging pits along the vine stock, before and after the use of biodynamical methods, the root system has developed with more than rootlets but especially with more than mycorrhiza. They are essential to the absorption of minerals. Hence the minerality and the flavour of our wines.

Regarding the Château Fougas Maldoror 2020

A wine full of passion and energy. It is winey, powerful, balanced, irrigated by a strong vitality which makes it vibrant and palatable. The attack is creamy, on a black berries coulis. The wine has firm tannins, fine-grained. The finish is fresh, thirst-quenching, and tasty.

Score 92-93 - Mathieu Doumenge - Terre de Vins – Primeur Tasting.

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