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Organic management goes bee-yond the vineyards at Jean-Luc Colombo...

Organic management goes bee-yond the vineyards at Jean-Luc Colombo...

Jean-Luc Colombo, one of the Rhône's most dynamic and forward thinking producers, is committed to attaining ECOCERT certification attesting to their organic agriculture by vintage 2015. As part of their drive to preserve the natural biodiversity of Cornas and promote the indigenous flora and fauna, Jean-Luc and his wife Anne have recently installed four beehives in their Cornas vineyard and through UK sole agents, Hatch Mansfield, they have become a Corporate Supporter of the BBKA (The British Beekeepers Association).

Jean-Luc and Anne have a strong connection with bees. The first Colombo vineyard, purchased in 1986, is named Les Ruchets, which means 'the beehives', in honour of the bee colonies found on the property. It now produces one of Jean-Luc's top Domaine Cornas wines under the same name.

Jean-Luc has great respect for nature and therefore takes a sustainable approach to vineyard management and to winemaking - this is central to Colombo's 'green' philosophy. His love of nature is apparent on any visit to his vineyards. He is a great believer in insects, animals and grapes co-existing naturally, allowing all to flourish. This can only be accomplished by using sustainable vineyard practices in which no harsh pesticides are used. Honey bees pollinate more than 90% of flowering crops and play a vital role in our food chain and Jean-Luc considers the dwindling population to be one of the biggest threats to nature. In recognition of this, Jean-Luc named some of his Côtes du Rhône's wines 'Les Abeilles' (the bees).

It is a well-known fact that in many places around the world the bee colonies are in jeopardy and this is the case in the UK too. As part of his continued support for the honey bee, Jean-Luc Colombo has become a corporate supporter of the BBKA, an educational charity set up in 1874 to promote beekeeping and honeybee research. In addition to a fixed donation, a contribution of £0.10 will be made to the BBKA for every bottle of Côtes du Rhône wines 'Les Abeilles' sold in the UK. The aim is to raise in excess of £5,000 per year for the charity.

Jean-Luc and his family live in the heart of their hillside vineyards in Cornas. They have always cultivated and maintained their vineyards with respect for the environment. Since 2012, they have been committed to attaining ECOCERT certification which attests to their organic agriculture practices.

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