Name: David Leclapart Start-up year: 1988 Cultivated hectares: 3 Winemaker name: David Leclapart Address: Trépail (France)
Upon the death of his father David Léclapart, just over thirty years, decided to return to the family business in Trépail, a small but a productive growing reality.
David is stubborn with an irrevocable decision: the entire small domaine of almost three hectares will be immediately converted to biodynamic farming. After a school career not concerning the wine, David is formed in the school of agrobiology of Beaujeu, but still has a lot to learn in the field. His first vintage was almost bankrupt, "That year I made a lot of mistakes in the vineyard - comments - and it all went wrong. I have not picked up almost anything"
In 2000, three years have passed since the beginning of biodynamic conversion, the amount of time that experts consider essential for first tangible results. Another radical choice - not ever dose sparkling wines - adds further difficulties, because it highlights the unevenness of enforcement, and the smallest uncertainty of health or maturity of the grapes.
The rain-soaked 2001 is one of the worst years for Champagne, in the meantime, his '99 and 2000 began to get noticed by consumers and by some observer. First successes of David and the state of perfect health of the grapes - in a region with a so difficult climate - reassure the family and intrigue villagers.
The exclusion of any synthetic chemical products, the total and spontaneous revegetation of the soil, the use of biodynamic preparations, not satisfie the desire for naturalness of this winemaker.
Since 2002, Léclapart realizes an old project: the sheep in the vineyard. These animals have a double advantage: fleecing of course the grass without threatening the vines and fertilized the soil by returning the native plant material in an elaborate form.
"The sheep - says David -is an animal of light, we have always needed in a region so Nordic. There is a complicity between the animal and the plant, which "feels" the presence. I also like the idea of returning to the landscape a variety that the monoculture of the vine has almost erased. I know my neighbors to take me crazy and that's why I tell them that sheep are only used to mow and fertilize"
Belonging to a Scottish rare breed , these animals can remain outdoors during the day and the night in all weathers. Léclapart borrowed them from a shepard of the Ardennes, which will take them back in spring.
Sheeps are moved from one plot of land to another every 15/20 days, but obviously each vineyard should be fenced from time to time.