Frogs, owls and bees help make wine

Inspired by nature, the Jardin des Filtres clears pollutants from the water

A radical water treatment garden has won wine-makers in the south-west a leading environmental award as the culmination of 12 years of work to boost biodiversity and make zero-chemical wines.

The garden was opened days before the 188 viticulteurs in the Vignerons de Buzet cooperative started their vendanges to produce around 12million bottles of wine.

Built on a slope beside the winery to help the water move between the treatment stages, the garden recreates a natural eco-system with 9,000 plants from 30 local non-invasive species – plus frogs in the central pool.

Sited on the Baïse river beside Bordeaux vineyards, Buzet covers 27 communes near Agen in Lot-et-Garonne. It received AOC status in 1973.

For 10 years ...

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