Cornas: Making sustainable wine with Matthieu Barret of Domaine Du Coulet

By Tobias Webb

Here’s a recent interview with Cornas biodynamic pioneer winemaker Matthieu Barret of Domaine Du Coulet. Matthieu makes a variety of wines, all of which are excellent.

In the interview we talked about why he’s been thinking – and acting – on sustainability for two decades. We discuss what it looks like in Cornas (and nearby areas where he makes wine, like St Joseph) and the difference sustainability makes to wines, and vineyard health.

We also talked about:

Why Matthieu has moved away from using any oak at all now in his wines.

How the weather has changed in Cornas in the last twenty years. 

How the harvest has come earlier than it used to, up to two weeks.

How his wine education more than twenty years ago, convinced him at an early age to focus on biologic and biodynamic wine making from the very start.

That terroir driven wines have to be chemical free to reflect the land itself.

Biodynamic being more a philosophy than a set of rules for him. “We are not a slave of the calendar” he says.

Why intuition and experience is more effective than following a checklist in the vineyard and the winery (a common theme!). 

Chemical use in viticulture more generally: It’s not a good marriage! It may work for low cost wine, but it’s a “mistake of history” to be using chemicals in AOC’s like Cornas.

 

About the author

Tobias Webb
Founder

Toby Webb is co-founder of Sustainable Wine. He is also founder of Innovation Forum, a leading platform for change in sustainable supply chains. He has spent 20+ years working in business and sustainability and has spent ten years teaching the subject at various London universities. He advises a number of companies large and small on sustainability. Businesses he has worked with include Patagonia, Interface, Bayer, SOK Group, Boots/Walgreens, Metro, Unilever, Nestle, Reckitt Benckiser, Sainsbury’s, and many others. He co-authored the UK’s national CSR strategy for David Cameron from 2006-10. He has been organising events, advising, teaching writing, blogging and podcasting on sustainable business since 2001. His (non-wine) blog is at www.sustainablesmartbusiness.com