Domaine Danjou-Banessy

Roussillon, France

Domaine Danjou-Banessy is a 17-hectare estate located in the French Catalonia, just north of Perpignan, near the confluence of the Spanish border and the Mediterranean. This is an old family Estate which has been a part of the Danjou-Banessy family heritage for generations. Nowadays, the two brothers Benoit and Sébastien manage the Domaine and are the custodians of this incredible heritage. The brothers were also the first generation of the family to introduce still, dry wines.
In the 1950s, Benoit and Sébastien’s grandfather bought further vineyards, and he was producing only fortified and dry rancio wines, until Benoit took over from his father in 2001. Five years later, he was joined by his brother Sébastien.
The wine production method is certified organic with biodynamic and non-interventionist practices, as it has been for generations. Their techniques and principles are based on ancestral craft, using natural methods to keep the soil alive. To keep the characteristic of each plot, they vinify the wines separately, using wild yeasts and no additions to the wines.
Danjou- Banessy

Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wine. What’s the difference?

To understand this concept and its various ramifications, it is necessary to keep something clear in mind: before the 20th century and the spreading of affordable synthetic fertilisers, all farming was organic. When the shift to the use of synthetics and pesticides happened, it became necessary to diversify traditional organic farming from the new modern farming. 


Simply put, organic farming forbids the use of synthetic fertilisers, synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified organisms. The basic requirements are generally specific and engage the farmers not to use any chemical fertilisers and other synthetic products in the vineyard. It does not prevent the vintner from using the conventional winemaking process after harvesting. 


Let’s take organic farming one step further: Biodynamic. The creator of this agricultural system is the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, who developed the principles of biodynamics in a series of lectures given in 1924 in Germany. Here lies the foundation of true organic wines, with a strict limit in the use of additives, stringent requirements and at the end obtaining a biodynamic certification.


The previous definitions are usually, and rightfully, associated with it, because most natural wine is also organic and/or biodynamic. But not vice versa!

Natural wine is wine in its purest form, simply described as nothing added, nothing taken away, just grapes fermented. No manipulation whatsoever, minimal intervention both in the vineyards and in the winery. Healthy grapes, natural yeast and natural fermentation, with no filtration nor fining. Sounds easy, right? However, making natural wine is unforgiving and it requires a bigger amount of work than conventional wine. To this day, natural wine has no certification yet.