Man and animal work in partnership to create wine. If you happen to drive through Pessac-Leogan, don’t be alarmed to see large horses attached to a worker walking behind them. Using horsepower to plow fields is nothing new but is a rarely seen practice these days given the efficiency of machinery. The old school technique has a very practical and environmentally friendly future in the wine industry for those estates willing to put the time and effort into training both human and horse.
The idea behind reviving this method is to reduce the compaction of the soil. Happy, nutrient rich soil equates to healthier, higher quality vines. Land that proves difficult to work such as clay also highly benefits. Clay has a very short meteorological window making it possible to work in all weather. Plowing via horses allows workers more versatility in the land they can access.
The underlying factors that connect wine, horse, and land: love and patience. This newfound trio has a bright future ahead: