I have come to the conclusion that the story of biodynamics in Bordeaux, indeed in all France, is confused. I suspect most drinkers with more than a passing interest in the wines of this region could name at least one biodynamic estate in Bordeaux, and although the responses may vary I suspect Château Pontet-Canet in Pauillac would top the list. Other choices, which are surely of equal standing but which came a little later, include Château Climens in Barsac, and either Château Durfort-Vivens or Château Palmer in Margaux.
I could argue, however, that none of these illustrious names should be the obvious choice. After all, biodynamics viticulture was introduced by Véronique Cochran (pictured below)to Château Falfas in 1988, a good number of years (16 years, in fact) before Alfred Tesseron and Jean-Michel Comme took Château Pontet-Canet down that same road.
In a similar vein, when and where was biodynamics first championed in France? Is the answer to this question similarly confused. Was it by Olivier Humbrecht in Alsace, or the late Lalou Bize-Leroy in Burgundy? Both have played prominent roles in championing biodynamic viticulture, and both have enjoyed great success with the wines that resulted, but neither is likely to be our first choice. Surely we should look first to Guy Bossard in Muscadet, or a more popular choice would perhaps be Nicolas Joly in Savennières?
Again I will offer an alternative name. There were others in the Loire Valley and in Alsace who went over to biodynamics long before Joly, the main difference perhaps being that they were not such vocal characters. One of these figures was François Bouchet, who owned Château Gaillard in Saumur-Champigny. He was, in case you were wondering what relevance he might have to this tale, the father of the aforementioned Véronique Cochran. Little wonder then that when she and her husband John purchased Château Falfas in 1988 one of the first changes they enacted was a wholescale conversion of the vineyards to biodynamics.
In simpler words, if you are looking for the birthplace of biodynamics in Bordeaux, then I think in Château Falfas you may well have found what you seek.
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