We began working with horses at Château Petit-Village earlier this year.
Java and Milord are working horses, Breton and Percheron respectively.
In this initial phase we are working 3 of our 10,8 hectares with Java and Milord. The results so far are very encouraging, among the advantages being a reduction in compacting of the soil that results from working with tractors, and the possibility of giving individual attention to the vines and their needs due to the pace of the work and the close personal contact of the men working the horses with the work that is being undertaken.
This experiment is proving very positive, and I was surprised the first time I saw the horses at work at my strongly emotional reaction. These wonderful animals were our partners in agriculture for thousands of years, and it is only a few decades since we abandoned them to pursue mechanical efficiency. It is a noble and beautiful sight to see man and horse at work together again in this way, and we intend to continue and extend this experiment, which apart from the aesthetic experience it affords, has several real practical advantage.