More Bordeaux Vineyards Converting to Organic

Increasing numbers of vineyards in Bordeaux are switching to organic methods of production, after lagging behind other French winemaking regions.

According to Patrick Vasseur, vice president of the Gironde Chamber of Agriculture, there are up to date figures available, but anecdotal evidence indicates that around 300 vineyards a year are converting to organic.

 

“It’s quite simple, everyone is switching over” winegrower Philippe Carrille told Vitisphere. His 23-hectare Château Poupille in Castillon Côte de Bordeaux has been certified since 2008.   This surge of new converts, “can only be cause for rejoicing”, added Gwénaëlle le Guillou, director of the New Aquitaine organic wine producers’ organisation (SVBNA). She pointed out that until recently, Bordeaux had trailed well behind other regions, with only 11% of vineyards committed to organic, compared to a national average of 14%.

 

“There are currently significant price differences between organic and conventional, but this will not last,” said Phillipe Cazaux, director of the co-operative group Bordeaux Families.  “Well-deserved added value will remain, though, due to the technical commitments and the risk incurred by the supply side. This year the group has 105 hectares certified organic and 551 hectares in the conversion phase. “Initially, small areas entered the process, but then gradually the larger areas followed suit”, said Cazaux, who plans to convert a fifth of acreage to organic within five years, with a longer-term goal of 1,000 hectares by 2027.

 

Éric Hénaux, director of the Tutiac co-operative group, is adopting a more cautious approach and waiting for the current 620 hectares to be converted by 2022 before making any further plans. “We will see how the market stabilizes,” he said. “A lot of organic wines came on-stream, and prices fell. We have to be careful not to produce more volumes than we have the capacity to sell. The objective is not to sell on the spot market, but to focus on bottles and three-year contracts”.

 

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Gérard Bertrand Launches Organic Orange Wine “Orange Gold”

Languedoc producer Gérard Bertrand has launched his first organic orange wine, which aims to blend Georgian tradition with a southern French modern twist.

Orange Gold 2020 is Gérard Bertrand’s first orange wine called “Orange Gold.” The wine is made from a blend of Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Mauzac and Muscat.

Bertrand was inspired to create a modern, fresher expression that respected Georgian traditions.

Chosen for their aromatic complexity, the six grapes used to make the wine are fermented in whole bunches on their skins to add colour and tannin to the wine.

According to Bertrand, Orange Gold has “an unusual profile and remarkable finesse and subtlety, reflecting the vibrancy, minerality and freshness of the south of France.”

The aromas you will find in the wine are white flowers, candied fruit, grapefruit, orange water and white pepper. Bertrand is very proud of the wine’s “light bitterness” on the finish, which he believes “whets” the appetite.

“Orange Gold was bottled a week ago and I’m very proud of it. I’ve tried a lot of different orange wines from around the world, some of which I enjoyed, others I was disappointed by,” Bertrand said.

“I wanted to create an orange wine that blended the tradition of the Georgians with the modernity of the South of France, so it sees oak and stainless steel.”

Bertrand believes the wine offers a new taste experience and pairs well with hard cheeses and spicy dishes. Orange Gold 2020 is on sale via the Gérard Bertrand website priced at €12.50 a bottle.

“Human beings have forgotten that nature has given us the chance to be here. We feel like we’re the king of the world now, which is not true. We created the brand to put nature first again, which is what we need to do,” Bertrand said.

 

 

San Pedro is launching a new wine brand to support (Glaciares Chilenos) Patagonian Glaciers

 

Chile’s Viña San Pedro is launching a new sustainable, organic wine brand called “South Cause” which will raise money to support Glaciares Chilenos, an NGO that aims to conserve Patagonian glaciers.

San Pedro, which is part of the VSPT group is launching the new wine brand in Europe, North America, and north Asia by the end of the year.

Labeled “South Cause” the new brand comprises four different wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, a red blend, Sauvignon Blanc, and a rosé, all targeted towards millennials and the younger generation of wine drinkers.

Rodrigo Romero, vice-president of global marketing for VSPT, described the new wine label as an “activist brand”, and he states:

“So far most of the things we have done have been in-house. We heard about Glaciares Chilenos and thought maybe we could have a role in this. And what better way to do it than create a new brand that stands for this sentiment. It proves it’s not an after-thought. It’s a range of quality wines that also embrace the cause.”

The wines are certified organic and vegan, will be released in eco-friendly packaging, which is either made from recycled materials or is itself recyclable.

VSPT has recently pledged to reduce the quantity and weight of its bottles and packaging so that 100% are separable, reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2030.

Sales of “South Cause” wines, will be priced between US$12-$15 per bottle, depending on the market, and will directly benefit Glaciares Chilenos.

VSPT has signed an agreement with the NGO which will see it give the organization a set lump sum each year to fund its scientific research and educational campaigns. The NGO will also receive a variable amount of money each year, based on sales of the wine.

Glaciers act as climate regulators, reflecting between 45% and 80% of the sun’s light, helping to cool the earth’s temperature. Glacier-melt causes sea levels to rise, leading to flooding and the loss of land. In the last six years, Chile’s glaciers have decreased by 8%, the equivalent of 1,800 Olympic-sized pools.

Glaciares Chilenos is dedicated to the preservation of Chile’s Patagonian ice fields, which represent 82% of the glaciers found in South America. The issue is particularly pressing given that 70% of the Chilean population is supplied with water originating from mountainous areas and the glacier refill zone.

Cameron Diaz Launches a “Clean” Wine Brand with close friend Katherine Power

Cameron Diaz is stepping into the organic wine business. The American actress launched “Avaline” a new wine brand on Thursday with her close friend, entrepreneur Katherine Power. Avaline features two wines, white and rosé, which are organic, vegan, and free of additives.

Made with organic grapes grown in Penedès in northern Spain, the white is a blend of Macabeo, Malvasia and Xarel·lo, which are best known for being used in the production of Cava. Crisp, dry and delicate, it is said to offer refreshing aromas of citrus and stone fruit.

Avaline Rosé meanwhile, is a Vin de France made in Provence from organically farmed Cinsault, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Caladoc. Light and refreshing, it boasts notes of melon, raspberries and citrus zest.

“I enjoyed wine for many-a-year and never questioned it. Not once. I actually figured it was the most responsible alcohol choice because it was made with fermented grapes,” Diaz shared in a press release. “But I had no idea of the process. One of the first conversations Katherine and I had about making a cleaner wine was ‘what are we going to add to it?’ We soon learned it wasn’t what you added, it’s what you didn’t add.”

“We learned most wine is not made with organic grapes and that it can be manipulated with over 70 additives. This completely changed the way we thought about it,” Power explained. “When we started asking for clean or organic wines in grocery stores, hotels and restaurants, all we got were eye-rolls.”

The pair was first inspired to pursue winemaking in April 2018, and just over two years later they perfected their two offerings. Avaline white is a dry, crisp wine from Spain that “pairs perfectly with fresh-cut flowers and your favorite meal.” Avaline rosé comes from France and features notes of melon and citrus zest.

With the launch of the brand Diaz and Power are seeking to bring more transparency to the wine industry by being open about what goes into their wines.

Both wines have an RRP of US $24 and are available to purchase at Wine.com and select retailers in 43 US states.

 

MILLÉSIME BIO 2020 – Pérols, France

International wine Journalists, winemakers, wine marketers, and researchers will head to the south of France January 27-29 2020 for the only trade show dedicated to organic wine.

With green issues and climate change increasingly at the forefront of consumers’ purchasing choices, the importance of organic and biodynamic viticulture has never been more evident. This makes Millésime Bio more relatable than ever.

The 2020 event will introduce the addition of beer and cider makers and is set to be the trade show’s largest event ever. The organizers have increased the space to accommodate the increased number of wineries and businesses delving into the world of organics. Therefore, a fifth hall has been opened to house a further 100 exhibitors.

For 2020 Millésime Bio will take place over three days from 27 to 29 January 2020 at the Montpellier Exhibition Centre in Pérols.

There will be a free-pour area fitted with enotecas that will offer guests the chance to taste wines that have won medals in the annual international Millésime Bio competition. The Challenge Millésime Bio is one of the world’s largest organic wine competitions, which includes a judging panel made up of wine experts and senior buyers, chaired by Jean-Luc Rabanel, the head chef of the two-Michelin-starred restaurant l’Atelier in Arles and founder of the ‘Greenstronomie’ movement.

The fair will also run masterclasses and seminars, with particular attention to organic winemaking, but also changing trends and issues affecting the wider wine trade, including business and marketing.

“It’s safe to say our fair is in very good shape and continues to gather momentum,” Patrick Guiraud, president of Millésime Bio, said.

“This year, we wanted to offer the opportunity for more exhibitors to take part. They’ve been quick to secure their stands and we’ve even had to open a waiting list in September.”

Event Details:

The opening party, organized by SudVinBio, will take place on Monday 27 January.
27 January 2020 from 10am to 7pm
28 January 2020 from 9am to 7pm
29 January 2020 from 9am to 5pm

Address:
Montpellier Exhibition Centre (Parc des Expositions de Montpellier), Route de la Foire, 34470 Pérols, France

Website:
https://www.millesime-bio.com/en