Angèle manages our vineyard horse team. Passionate about nature and horses, she aims to create harmony between them both in her daily work.
What did you do before joining Château de Pommard?
Before I joined the Château, I was a professional horse rider in Ireland for many years. When I returned to France, I went to a wine school in Touraine in the Loire Valley and spent two years working in the vineyards over there. And finally, here I am!
Tell us about your role at Château de Pommard. What is your mission? What is your daily routine?
My main task is taking care of our workhorses. I look after their well-being and make sure they're in good health. I guide them as they work in the vineyards. In the morning, I go in the meadow to feed them and make sure they are well before we start work in the Clos. I spend the whole day with them, ploughing the soils. At the end of the day, I take them back to the meadow and feed them again. I'm also training our two new horses, Idole and Calinette.
What do you find special about the Chantrerie plot?
Chantrerie is the plot I love the most when working with the horses. Located on a slight slope, its clay-rich soils are particularly supple and easy to work with the plough. The plot is divided between young and older vines - some of which are 80-years-old! It's fascinating to see the evolution of the vine on the same terroir throughout the years.
Do you recognize those specificities in the wine? How does it taste?
The wine produced from the Chantrerie plot is marked by strong fruit and floral aromas. It is a truly elegant Pommard wine, both lively and energetic - just like the work required in the vineyard. Our 2019 vintage is absolutely exceptional and generously complex.
Why is your role so important for Château de Pommard?
When working in a biodynamic vineyard, the two most important elements are energy and intention. Horses spread their individual energy throughout the vines and the grapes when they plough. Customers can feel it when they taste our wines and it's why our horses' health is so important. Horses are pack animals - in their own way, they give the whole vineyard team confidence and energy. We usually all work together in the same plot and the horses bring a peaceful rhythm to our days. When working with them in the vines, you get to feel this unique communion between nature, animals, and humans.
Why is working in harmony with Nature so important to you?
I have always been sensitive to environmental and ecological issues. For me, working with horses is a positive way to work through these issues. I couldn't do anything else. I find it magical to work in the middle of the vines - it's where the product first begins. At the Château, we are always looking for new ways to work together - not just to make great wines but also to regenerate the environment. It's really inspiring!
Why is your role so crucial for this major transformation project that Château de Pommard is going through?
The work that we do with positive energy from our horses represents the spirit of the entire project. Our work with them is really a true collaboration with nature. Now, we're going a step farther by incorporating biodynamic and regenerative agriculture practices. We're testing out new tools that better respect our soils. Our goal is to leave as much life as possible to ensure the regeneration of our resources. There are many new viticulture models that we have not had the chance to look at yet but will incorporate in the future. We're moving in the right direction.