Horse-based viticulture brings many assets, including ploughing with a draft horse.

What is the ploughing?

Ploughing is the delicate action of working the soil between the rows of vine, i.e. turning the soil over and pulling out the weeds. The excavating plow turns over the cavaillon, strip of earth at the foot of the rows of vine, to eliminate the “undesirable” weeds, harmful to production, which grow in the spring.

A draft horse to plough

At Château Paul Mas, Eden, our draft mare, is our main actress. Her leader’s voice directs her as she walks through the vineyards. The goal is to move forward in a straight line, without ever deviating. Eden responds to the orders “Forward”, “Back”, “Stop”, “Left” and “Right”. She has become our favorite teammate.

Why the use of a horse?

Precision and finesse

Ploughing is one of the most delicate tasks maintaining the vineyards, especially when the vine is young because we need to be as close as possible from the vine, without damaging them. Horse ploughing allows a great precision, adaptability to the right speed and it is safer for the vines. Indeed, while a tractor would not feel any resistant to a hooked vine, the horse feels the resistance and stops. Thus, we avoid accidentally uprooting vines, especially where the vines are more fragile.

Soil preservation

Working the vines with a horse rather than a tractor avoids soil compaction. The pressure exerted on the ground by a horse in action is greater (per square centimeter) than a tractor. This way, we preserve all the microbial life present in the soil and essential to the vine, the agronomic potential of the soil is better exploited and better prepared for better water infiltration, which helps build up water resources in depth.

The pleasure of returning to nature

Beyond the technical and environmental aspects, our team rediscovers the sounds of nature. It is also the fusion between Man and nature, the horse becomes a working companion more than a tool.