Welcome to the Petit Août vineyard.
My name is Yann de Agostini, I am a wine-grower in Théüs, a village in the southern Alps in France.
I work alone on the vineyard I created in 2009. Today I own 6 hectares of land scattered in the mountains : 21 different plots of land in 4 localities in the Durance Valley.
I work on traditionnal grape varieties such as Mollard (endemic grape variety), Plant Droit and Clairette Blanche. I have moved to organic agriculture and I will get the official certification in 2017.
I would like to plant new plots of Mollard and Plant Droit in order to develop my vineyard's potential but first I need to deforest.
That is why I need your help.
Today, with its 130 hectares in production, the Hautes-Alpes vineyard is a tiny vineyard on a world scale. However it is a significant one in the diverse landscape of French wines.
The Hautes-Alpes vineyard is characterised by a large variety of soils, a wide difference between day-time and night-time temperatures, low rainfall and windy valleys. It is located between 600 m and 1,000 m above sea level. It is of importance as the Hautes-Alpes vineyard starts where most of French vineyards stop.
It has kept some of its old grape varieties. It is undoubtedly one of its key features. The various grape varieties are adapted to the region's climate and produce distinctive wines that are representative of the soil on which they grow. The local wines are light and full of aromas, with a moderate alcohol content, which makes them easy to digest and perfectly suited to today's customers' expectations.
Replanting these grape varieties is a way to maintain the very rich biodiversity of the alpine areas.
- The Mollard is the most represented variety in the vineyard, even though it is planted only on a few hectares. It is the local endemic variety for red wines. I have planted 1,4 hectares of Mollard since 2009.
- The Plant Droit , locally known as Espanenc, comes most probably from the Durance high Valley. It is in danger of disappearing as there only remains one plot of land planted with Espanenc. It can only be manually looked after. I own a few Espanenc plants which have enabled me to elaborate a micro vintage with very good potential.
They are both listed in the Slow Food Arche du Goût inventory.
I control the output of the vineyard to ensure I grow healthy and ripe grapes. There is very little intervention in the process of wine making to make sure my wines express their local alpine identity. These convictions are my guidelines when working in my vineyard and I want them to be found in my wines.
Describe your project goal
First step : clearing and planting 1/2 ha of Mollard in May 2016.
In November 2015, I cleared a plot of land which used to be a vineyard 20 years ago. It is ideally situated on an alluvial fan of Vallauria stream.
In May 2016, I plan to plant on this land Mollard plants which partly come from my old stocks in massal selection and from certified cloned stocks.
Second step : clearing and planting 0,20 ha of Espanenc in May 2017.
In March 2016 I will clear another plot of land I have just bought and which hasn't been cultivated for over 20 years. In the meantime I will graft new Espanenc vine plants using cuttings from the Vassal vineyard and I will plant them in May 2017.
Buying land, clearing it, buying new stocks, planting, trellising and maintaining the vineyard until grapes are produced represent an investment of 22,000 Euros.
The total cost of the project (preparation and planting) reaches 17,000 Euros. If I get more donations, it will enable me to take care of the vines until the first harvest in 2018 and 2019.
That is the reason why I am launching this participative funding.