Thursday, June 20, 2019
Home Business The great wines of Bordeaux go organic

The great wines of Bordeaux go organic

A bombshell. On May 13th, Bernard Arnault announced during a gala dinner the conversion to organic of his Château d'Yquem. Owned by the boss of the LVMH group, this Sauternes grand cru has taken decisive steps to achieve today's fully organic viticulture ", Bernard Arnault launches to his 400 guests – bosses, elected officials, journalists …

Certainly, it advances a little: Pierre Lurton, director of Yquem, specifies in the wake to the newspaper South West, that if the grand cru no longer uses chemical herbicides or insecticides today, it will only enter the procedure to obtain certification ". And according to the specialized site Vitisphère, " all the treatments of this classified vineyard are organic, with the exception of those against mildew ".

However, the exception in question is not negligible: 80% of the pesticides sold in Gironde are fungicides that target this particular disease, spread by a fungus. The climate of Bordeaux, wet and little windy, conducive to the occurrence of late blight, explains its delay in organic: 7% of the surface of its vineyard is converted, against more than 23% in Provence, for example.

Three times more organic grand cru

Bernard Arnault's comments illustrate the change that is taking place among Bordeaux's big landowners, who are conservative compared to other regions: in Burgundy, for example, Romanée Conti has been organic since 1985.

" For 10 years, we had three great growths in organic farming, against a dozen today "Says Gwenaëlle Le Guillou, director of the Syndicat des vignerons bio of New Aquitaine. " Several have announced their recent conversion, including the castles Latour (owned by François Pinault) and Angelus. There is a ripple effect, they are in line with the expectations of consumers. "

" If the showcase of luxury wine goes organic, it will have a very interesting domino effect "Says Antonin Iommi-Amunategui, organizer of" Under the cobblestones ", a show of organic and natural wines that will be held on May 25 and 26 in Bordeaux. " We are not fooled by this choice, first financial, large groups have waited for a minority of vine growers living smic make great wines to convert consumers. But that proves that the bio, it works. "

"Societal pressure"

" LVMH fits into a real trend of substance ", Claire Tessier abounds, from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine bio federation. In 2018, some one hundred vineyards have gone organic in the Gironde, now more than 610 estates (out of about 10,000 castles).

" All signals are green », Explains Gwenaëlle Le Guillou. First, the market is' extremely favorable »: Organic wine sales have increased by 20% per year since 2010 in France, " while the demand for conventional wines stagnates ".

Then, " the vine growers want to protect the environment, pay attention to the products used – for them and their employees – and make a local wine, because organic vines have a deeper root system ". Finally, " societal pressure is strong in Gironde ".

It is, among other things, a consequence of the intoxication of schoolchildren following a treatment of vineyards with pesticides (read below), of the electroshock provoked by the "Cash investigation" program, or even cross-functional work carried out by several groups, such as "Medoc info pesticides alert to toxic". Created by a former agricultural employee, Marie-Lys Bibeyran, this one tries to make recognize in justice professional diseases attributed to the use of the pesticides.

How to choose your "ecological" wine

The general awareness gained the interprofessional council of Bordeaux wine (CIVB). In 2016, the CIVB set itself the goal of the sharp decrease or even the exit from the use of pesticides ". Today, he claims a Bordeaux vineyard certified to 60% by " green ". Of " greenwashing ", The opponents sound: this concept includes certifications such as Terra Vitis or HVE (" High Environmental Value "), which unlike the AB label has no restrictions on pesticides.

Obtaining this label is increasingly difficult because the regulation reduces the amount of copper allowed in organic agriculture to control downy mildew, from 6 to 4 kg per hectare per year. Which will make the task a little more difficult for the Bordelais.

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Global mobilization against pesticides

In Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux or Lille, several thousand people walked Saturday, May 18 to denounce the activities of Bayer-Monsanto and other giants of agrochemistry. On the banks of the Garonne in Bordeaux, 1,400 people marched. In Paris, they were 600 to 700 people and 1,600 in Lorient. Markets were planned in 37 cities in France and other European countries (Germany, Portugal, Serbia, Cyprus), India and the United States (San Diego, California and Austin, Texas) and Mexico , Chile and Argentina and Perth, Australia, organizers said.

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Five years of controversy

2014. 23 children and their teacher are uneasy in Villeneuve-de-Blaye, following the spreading of fungicides on vines near the school. Pursued, the two responsible castles are relaxed on April 30, 2019. The floor has appealed.

2017. According to analyzes carried out by "What to choose", on 40 great Bordeaux crus, 37 contain pesticides.

January 2019. An association of local residents, opposed to the construction of a college near vineyards in Parempuyre pushes the Château Clément-Pichon, to announce its conversion to organic.

March 2019. the court of Bordeaux recognizes the "inexcusable fault" of Vernous castle in the outbreak of Parkinson's disease of a former employee.

(tagsToTranslate) organic farming (t) wine (t) Bordeaux (t) France (t) put (t) big

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