High quality compost for the best wines

The Bordeaux region is famous for its wines. Some of the most renowned wine-makers make use of the high quality compost from La Grande Jaugue.

November 21, 2013

We visited a local vineyard. Here, environmental sustainability is writ large. To attract beneficial birds and insects, there are indigenous trees and plants between the vines. The vineyard even has its own water-treatment system. And 10 years ago, the vineyard switched from chemical fertilizers to compost. The influence on the quality of the vines, grapes and wine has been nothing less than astonishing. The vineyard uses compost as fertilizer before planting new vines, and also applies fine compost three times a year to feed the soil. The better the compost, the better the disease control and soil quality. High quality compost also needs to be applied less frequently, so agricultural machines don’t have to pass between the rows of vines as often.

Compost instead of chemicals
To source the high-end compost it requires, the vineyard turned to regional supplier La Grande Jaugue. La Grande Jaugue has been making compost since 1997, and focuses on a quality product for discriminating customers like golf courses, football stadiums – and upscale vineyards. Located in St Médard en Jalles near the city of Bordeaux, the company is part of the diversified BTPS group. La Grande Jaugue director Bernard Langla was involved in setting up the composting operation from the start. Today, with 12 employees it processes 54,000 tonnes of green waste per year.
He is proud that he has been able to convince many vintners to switch from chemical fertilisers to compost, and numbers among his customers some of France’s most renowned wine-makers in Bordeaux and Burgundy. Meanwhile the reputation of the company has even spread to Morocco, where the quality of La Grande Jaugue´s compost is even used for rice plantations.

Constant improvement
Machines from Komptech – two Crambo shredders and a Multistar star screen – are a major part of operations at La Grande Jaugue. Langla is happy with the machines, and also with the way Komptech and its French distributor Hantsch listen to him as a user and address his concerns. Komptech and Hantsch have a long history together in France, and it shows in how they treat customers. As Langla put it, “I like how Komptech strives to keep up with changes in the market and how they listen to their customers.”
Bernard Langla is the sort of person who is always looking for ways to make things better. This is especially true when it comes to natural energy and sustainability, which are core interests of his. For example, he uses the heat energy from compost to heat the company’s buildings, and is currently looking into ways to convert used grapevine plants into a compost specifically for vintners.