Wine News: Champagne Approves Lower Planting Density

One year after Champagne growers voted to change the needed distance between vines, the Champagne initiative ‘vignes semi-larges’ has been finally approved by the Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité, but with considerable opposition.

This means that the necessary distance between rows of vines will soon be increased to 2.2 meters, up from the current maximum of 1.5 meters, a measure which has stood for more than 100 years.

Last year, Maxime Toubart, President of the Syndicat General des Vignerons del la Champagne (SGV) said the apparent environmental benefits of such a move, “it will help us to achieve our objectives of zero herbicides, 50 percent fewer pesticides and 25 percent fewer carbon emissions by 2025.”

Some members feel that the main objective of the initiative is to cut costs associated with cultivation. And there are fears that VSL is paving the way for mechanical harvesting in Champagne.

Though the environmental benefits states Toubart would certainly be worth celebrating, it’s worth noting that the VSL initiative is optional and thus the extent of carbon emissions reduction will depend on how many producers actually choose to replant.

Having said that, a study conducted by the SGV over the course of 15 years in conjunction with growers, Champagne houses and scientists which found that larger spacing between vines could lead to a 20-percent reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions.

The NoVSL collective, which as its name suggests is against the initiative, believes that the adoption of VSL will lead to a decrease in quality.

“Under the cover of environmental concerns they are implementing a business project of cost-cutting,” said Patrick Leroy of the CGT-Champagne trade union at the time of last year’s vote among Champagne growers.

#champagne #champagnelovers #wine #winenews #winelovers #champagnegrowers #vineyards #vines #champagnelive #winetrends #climatechange #winetrends

 

Bordeaux Allowed to Irrigate

The Bordeaux appellations of Pessac-Léognan, Pomerol and Saint-Emilion have recently been granted permission to irrigate their vines this year after heatwaves and low rainfall across the region threaten the vines with hydric stress. The weather in these areas has been extremely dry for months and French national weather service, Météo France, has reported that July 2022 was the driest since 1959.

As regulated, irrigation is forbidden in the region although recent modifications to the winegrowers’ code “The Cahier des Charges” has allowed it under certain conditions. The Cahier des Charges of all three regions permits irrigation “only in case of persistent drought and when this disrupts the good physiological development of the vine and ripening of the grapes”.

Representatives of France’s national appellations body, the INAO, visited the Bordeaux region to review the situation.

According to news agency AFP, “three [appellations] obtained the authorisation to irrigate to try to preserve the threatened vines”. Other sources, such as local news publication Le Résistant, added that the authorisation also spans to the so-called “satellite” appellations of Saint-Emilion (Lussac-Saint-Emilion, Montagne-Saint-Emilion, Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion and Saint-Georges-Saint-Emilion) and Lalande-de-Pomerol.

The region is not equipped for irrigation with many relying on rudimentary technology to supply the water to the vines. According to AFP, the Bordeaux wine trade body is pinning its hopes on “two or three storms in the coming weeks” to make for “a good vintage”

#bordeaux #bordeauxwineregion #bordeauxwine #madeinfrance #bordeauxlovers #winelovers
#winenews #heatwaves #wine #bordeaux #winelive

Miguel Torres (Chile) joins International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA)

International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) has increased its collaborative effort to decarbonize the global wine sector with the admission of five new wineries hailing from France, Chile and Australia.

Miguel Torres (Chile) has become the latest silver member of IWCA, and four other wineries from France, Chile and Australia have signed up as applicant members, committed to take immediate action to reduce their carbon emissions.

The total number of IWCA members now stands at 27 wineries, who have joined in the time since its foundation by winemakers Miguel A. Torres (Familia Torres) and Katie Jackson (Jackson Family Wines) in February 2019.

Miguel Torres has joined as Silver Member after committing to become Net Zero by 2050 at the latest and completing an annual third-party audited greenhouse gas emissions inventory.

The winery, founded in 1979 by Miguel Torres, is one of the main Chilean producers of premium wines with 400-hectare organic vineyards and presence in over 100 countries.

“We must undertake concrete actions to reduce and mitigate the impacts produced by our processes. All companies should do the same. Our participation in IWCA is key for us as we will join a strict protocol to mitigate CO2 emissions, adopt actions implemented by other wineries around the world and share information regarding new projects” said Jaime Valderrama, General Manager of Miguel Torres Chile.

The other four wineries that have been accepted as IWCA’s applicant members are Champagne Lanson and Famille Perrin from France, Viña Undurraga from Chile and Voyager Estate from Australia.

 

IWCA has launched two regionally adapted IWCA calculators for wineries in Australia and New Zealand. These tools have been developed in collaboration with Sustridge and Yealands for current and potential members of IWCA to calculate their annual GHG emissions inventories and include the most material emissions sources for typical wineries and vineyards.

 

#IWCA #wine #winelovers #MiguelTorres #winenews #iwca #racetozero #racetoresilience #sustainablewine #eyeonclimate #climatechange #sustainability #climateaction #wine #vino #vin #instawine @iwcawine

Institute of Masters of Wine Webinar: Climate Change & Global Wine Trade – February 17th, 2021

The Institute of Masters of Wine is continuing its webinar series next Wednesday February 17, 2021 with a session on “The Impact of Climate Change on the Global Wine Trade.”

This webinar will examine the impact of climate change from vine to glass with leading experts climatologist Dr Greg Jones, economist Mike Veseth and CEO of Wine Intelligence Lulie Halstead sharing their views in a discussion covering the impact on growing grapes and wine quality, trade and distribution and on wine consumers. 

Climate change is having an impact on wine production. Increasing temperatures affect vine phenology with reduced winter dormancy, and earlier physiological ripening. They also affect the spread of disease and pests. Climate change is leading to more frequent and more extreme, extreme weather events with increased drought conditions and wildfires in regions such as Australia, California, Spain and South Africa, spring frosts and more violent storms leading to flooding. This means greater variation in quantities of wines produced from one year to the next with increased volatility in wine prices. Climate change imperils the smooth flow of goods as transport infrastructure and ports are vulnerable. Wine consumers are increasingly concerned about climate change and are becoming more demanding in terms of wanting to know what goes into the products they buy and how they are made. This discussion will cover each of the aspects across the entire global wine supply chain.

The event will be moderated by Jane Masters MW and there will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

The panel includes:

Dr Greg Jones – Chair, Evenstad Center for Wine Education / Wine Studies
Lulie Halstead – CEO Wine Intelligence
Jane Masters MW (moderator) – view MW profile
Mike Veseth – Wine Economist, Professor emeritus of International Political Economy at the University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, Washington)

This webinar is open to everyone, but capacity is limited. Follow this link to register.

The INAO approved six new grape varieties in Bordeaux

The Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité (INAO) has officially approved the use of six new varieties in Bordeaux, which were first proposed in 2019.

The French agricultural governing body has approved the use of four new red varieties, as follows: Arinarnoa, Castets, Marselan and Touriga Nacional, and two white varieties: Alvarinho and Liliorila; with plantings authorized for 2021.

The varieties were put forward by winemakers in the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur AOCs (not Pauillac and Margaux ) in the summer of 2019, as a potential means of dealing with different growth cycles and ripening periods, in the face of a changing climate.

Scientists in Bordeaux looked at fifty-two varieties for potential future use before settling on the final six which were considered particularly suitable for their ability to handle hydric stress and for being later ripening.

When plantings begin, the new varieties will be limited to just 5% of an estate’s total surface area and no more than 10% of the blend in either red or white.

These new varieties will sit alongside the already permitted varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Carménère, Petit Verdot for red – and Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Muscadelle, Colombard, Ugni Blanc, Merlot Blanc and Mauzac for white.