Draught wines: French vineyards rediscover the power of horses
Working horses not only outperform tractors on tricky terrain but provide a natural way to improve health of soil and crops
It’s early morning and the air vibrates with the sound of birds and frogs at the L’Affût wine estate in Sologne, north-central France. Draught horses Urbanie and Bambi are slowly working their way between rows of vines. Carefully guided by their owner, Jean-Pierre Dupont, and his son, they each pull a cultivator that drags up grass growing between the grapevines.
Several times a year, Urbanie and Bambi can be seen working at L’Affût, often to the surprise of passersby: working horses can be deemed obsolete, relics of a time before the mid-20th century’s mechanisation of farming.