Every Saturday in the summer, come and discover agroforestry at Clos Troteligotte during walks in the vineyards (see K-Où page).

The tree in the heart of the vineyard


A new step for Clos Troteligotte, a wine estate based in Villesèque, Cahors, France : the planting of 3,000 trees in the heart of the vineyard. A big challenge accomplished in three years!

You won't recognize the place... Having been in organic and biodynamic agriculture for nearly ten years, Clos Troteligotte is taking a new step with the development of agroforestry within the plots of vines. Since 2021, Emmanuel Rybinski and his team have been planting and mixing trees with vine production, wherever possible.

Maples, hawthorns, hornbeams, hazelnuts, pistachio trees, pear trees, fig trees, apple trees... Nearly 3000 trees, shrubs and aromatic plants have been planted across the 19 ha of Clos Troteligotte. The scope and extent of the work accomplished is quite unique: in the form of hedges, along the vines, around and between each plot, but also over an entire hectare in a pergola. In these different growing projects, we want the vine and the tree to grow together. In the beginning, the vine will go on poles. Then, it will wrap itself around the tree and its branches when the latter will have grown tall enough. The trees will be kept at a human size height, and the tillage will be done on horseback.

Biodiversity factor, temperature regulator (shade), carbon sink, windbreak effect, nutrient and water pump thanks to roots and mycorrhizae, the tree has many advantages.

Living organism

Practiced for centuries in France, this technique has been slowly abandoned. However, agroforestry has many advantages for the vines in particular, and agriculture in general: biodiversity factor, temperature regulator (shade), carbon sink, windbreak effect, soil structurer, preventing erosion ... This cultural process allows the vine to cope with climatic hazards, scarcity of water resources and soil depletion.

"In biodynamics, the farm is seen as a living organism composed of organs essential to the survival of the whole, adds Emmanuel Rybinski, winemaker of the estate. Today, for us, the tree is an essential organ for the vineyard, to keep ours vines healthy and have quality wines.

Refuge to predators

Another advantage of the tree is to serve as a refuge for predators of vine pests. Let's take the example bats; they are predators of the butterfly responsible for the grape worm, a devastating insect for the vine. Bats need stage points or transition zones between two ecosystems, between two woods for example, to settle. These areas are called ecotones. Trees can play an ecotone role in a plot of vines. Bats will thus be able to nest in the hedges or trees that they find on the plot, and then come and eat the butterflies, or the leafhoppers, another insect pest.

Indigenous grape varieties:

For two years, we have also been replanting old Quercy grape varieties, which have been present in the Cahors wine-growing landscape for decades, but which were not included in the specifications of the appellation, established in 1971. They have even been discarded even though they were well within the specifications of the VDQS label (Vins Délimités de Qualité Supérieur) obtained by the wines of Cahors in 1951. In our case, it is Jurançon noir (discarded in 1992), Gamay and Gibert. Three red grape varieties, obtained from a mass selection of 1911 for the Jurançon noir (at Lilian Bérillon's vineyard nursery) and Gibert, and Burgundy clones for Gamay.

Resistant Varietal:
2023 is also the year of a great revolution at Le Clos: on the hectare of pergola in agroforestry, we are planting a resistant grape variety, Floréal! What is aquò? Floréal is a variety of white wine grape obtained by INRA. This variety comes from a natural cross (sexual reproduction, no GMOs) between Villaris and a descendant of Muscadinia rotundifolia, a vine of American origin resistant to phylloxera and diseases such as mildew or powdery mildew. Floréal therefore requires very few treatments (copper and sulphur), which greatly limits the impact on the environment. See you in a few years to taste the wine that will come from it…

In addition to planting trees, Clos Troteligotte takes care of all the surroundings of the plots of vines. A large body of water has been dug for flora and fauna. The estate also has woods, meadows, flowery areas, wells and barns to renovate. “On the pergola hectare, specifies Emmanuel Rybinski, we have also planted a new disease-resistant grape variety: Floreal.” Another new challenge for the winegrower who offers to discover all these projects during walks in the vineyards throughout the summer. Registration on 06 74 81 91 26 or

All activities in the area below and on K-Où et Wine tourism Prices.

We are supported on this project by Alain Canet and the association Arbres Haies Paysage 46. We thank them warmly.


Tasting, visit, k'as-croûte (wines and snacks), winegrower's meal...



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