Bordeaux Region Makes Push Toward More Environmentally-Friendly Viticulture
Part of what makes French wine so incredible — beyond taste — is the country's wine history and its reverence of that history. For instance, in Bordeaux, the Wine Classification of 1855 still holds weight over 150 years later. But recently, the region has been looking to the past in an attempt to create an environmentally-friendly future — moving away from things like pesticides and towards more sustainable practices in the hope that one of the world's best-known wine designations can continue to bear fruit for generations to come.
Specifically, the Bordeaux region is targeting a goal of 100-percent of its vineyards being sustainable, organic, or biodynamic (or at least transitioning to these practices) by 2025, Allan Sichel, president of the Bordeaux Wine Council, recently told The Drinks Business. Additionally, within Bordeaux, individual appellations are apparently considering even stricter rules. For instance, the appellation of St. Emilion is reportedly planning to add and enforce sustainability regulations early in the next decade. And the Bordeaux Superior AOC is said to be looking into limits on herbicides and pesticides.
According to the report, though these changes are becoming more official in nature, Bordeaux has already been headed in this general direction for a while now. Potentially harmful chemicals now account for just 10 percent of all substances sprayed on vines, down from 30 percent a decade ago, and 60 percent of all the grapes grown in the region are now already either sustainable, organic, or biodynamic. Meanwhile, Sichel said that the introduction of the Environment Management System in 2010 — a program that allows different growers to connect to share sustainability best practices — has seen its membership grow from 25 vineyards to 800. "We can't make things compulsory but we can make it easier," The Drinks Business quoted him as saying. He later added, "It shows a total change in the state of mind."
It's not the first time we've heard of the wine industry stepping up on environmental issues this year. Earlier this month, California's Jackson Family Wines and Spain's Familia Torres announced a global pact to help fight against global warming.