The oratoire spirit

The Alary family has been lulled from generation to generation by the legend of the Golden Goat, faithful to peasant tradition. In the evening of his life, a grandfather announced to his children that a treasure (ecu, jewels or Golden Goat) was hidden in the land around his house and that they would have to search and dig to find it. A year of toil and labour brought to light such beautiful land that the children planted vines. The grandfather's treasure was this land and the wines that it allows to produce by dint of work and respect for its nature and environment.

At the Oratoire Saint-Martin, this legend resonates. No pesticides, chemical fertilizers or weed killers. The estate is now certified in organic by Ecocert and biodynamic by Demeter.

In the 1990s, in opposition to the tradition of these times, Frédéric and François Alary decided to use organic farming practices for the entire vineyard. Pioneers in Cairanne, they went further and started biodynamic farming in 2008 in order to promote the microbial life of the soil and respect the typicity of the terroir. In keeping with this philosophy we pursue this commitment to the life of our soil and vine.

To maintain the soil, we use natural manure from several local farmers. In collaboration with the winegrowers' union of Cairanne, nesting boxes for chickadees and bats have been installed in the vineyards to promote biodiversity and natural regulation. This collective spirit is also found in the heart of the group of winegrowers « Eclat de lune » (moon’s sparkle) with whom we share experience, know-how and elaboration of biodynamic preparations.

With the lunar calendar and the weather as a compass, the life of the estate is organized throughout the year in full awareness of the rhythm of nature; from pruning to bottling.

Following the rhythms of the cosmos, we carry out a soft pruning in the vineyard respecting the sap flow, a precise work of the soils enhancing a deep rooting of the vine, we do co-planting of young vines and preserve our old vines which represents an invaluable inheritance, we work out and apply our biodynamic preparations, we disbud, we thin out the leaves, we decide on green harvests on young vines, we harvest by hand, we sort out the grapes twice and keep only the best.

In order to express the purest identity of the terroirs, the yields are very low, the winemaking is done gently with wild yeasts and very little interventionism. The maturation in vats, concrete eggs or small barrels is chosen to bring purity and elegance to the wines without artifice. The bottling, always planned in flower or fruit day and in descending moon, is done without fining in order to restore the most natural expression of our work, of our philosophy, in a word the The Oratoire Saint-Martin spirit...