To control weeds in between the vines organically we use a piece of equipment called a ‘lame’, in English it translates as ‘blade’. It is mounted on the side of the tractor and acts like a mechanical hoe, chopping through the roots of the weeds but not damaging the vines.
After using the lame, we then follow with an ‘epampreuse’ (translated as ‘pampre remover’) which is a stiff, rotating brush mounted in the same way. This brushes off any unwanted growth from the trunks of the vines (the pampres) and sweeps away all the previously chopped down weeds.
This is time consuming but is essential in order to return life to the soil, which due to many years’ use of chemical weedkillers was lifeless and compacted. We have also decompacted the soil between the rows of vines to aerate the soil, and allow the insects and bacteria to thrive again.