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Red in the vineyards: the Agen Tulip in full bloom

Red in the vineyards: the Agen Tulip in full bloom

The Agen Tulip grows in our vineyards! This is the result of successful conservation work, carried out in partnership with Sepanlog, the association for the protection of Nature in Lot-et-Garonne, and the Conservatoire Botanique National Sud-Atlantique (South-Atlantic National Botanical Conservatory).

This April, the bright red petals of the Agen Tulip add a flash of colour to a few rows of vines.  Yet the Agen Tulip (Tulipa agenensis to give it its full scientific name) once grew in abundance throughout the vineyards and orchards of the Lot-et-Garonne. Hence its name (Agen is the “capital city” of the Lot-et-Garonne). The Agen Tulip has become rare as a result of changes in farming practices and uncontrolled picking and, because of this, has been protected in France (1) since 1995.  It is included on the “red list” of the vascular plant species of mainland France.

Sauvegarde au vignoble de cette fleur menacée

Les Vignerons de Buzet first came across the very special, yet fragile Agen Tulip three years ago via Sepanlog, the association for the protection of Nature in the Lot-et-Garonne. We carried out the conservation operation, under the supervision of the Conservatoire Botanique National Sud-Atlantique (South-Atlantic National Botanical Conservatory).

In June 2014, bulbs from this protected flower were transported from a roadside station where they had been struggling and replanted in our Domaine de Gueyze vineyards, with the authorization of the relevant environmental protection authorities. The experts in flora preservation considered our vineyards to be conducive to this flower’s healthy growth, due to our growing practices, which encourage the development of a rich biodiversity:

  • 0 chemical fertilizers;
  • 0 acaricidal treatments;
  • 0 insecticides toxic to bees (neonicotinoids in particular);
  • 0 chemical treatments against botrytis
  • 0 residual chemical weed killers
  • A big reduction in chemical treatments as a whole.

Special soil work is undertaken in the rows where the Agen Tulip grows in order to preserve the bulbs.

This second flowering, three years after the bulbs were transplanted, tells us that our decision to practice wine growing that respects both Man and Nature has been borne out. We thought this was worth sharing with you!

(1) NB: it is forbidden to pick the Agen Tulip. The removal of the bulbs is strictly controlled by the Prefectural services and by the Conservatoire Botanique National Sud-Atlantique. Failure to comply with the provisions of the bylaws setting out the list of protected species (national or regional) constitutes an offense, provided for and punishable by article L415-3 of the Environment Code. The penalties include a fine of up to €9,000 (doubled in the case of recidivism) and up to 6 months imprisonment.

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