Champagne trends of 2013: 7. Going green

31st May, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt

With its vast tracts of neatly trimmed vineyards, high yields, and damp climate, Champagne would appear one of the least likely places to adopt organic and biodynamic viticultural practices.

champagne organic

Just over 1% of Champagne’s 33,500 hectares is organically farmed

However, the region can now boast the fastest rate of conversion to organic practices in France, as well as some of the most dramatic drops for insecticide use. Indeed, Champagne currently accounts for half of all France’s pheromone use – an expensive but organic solution to prevent male grapevine moths finding a mate and breeding.

Champagne is also home to a number of groups committed to biodynamic and organic viticultural practices, such as Terres et Vins, comprising 21 producers. The bigger houses are also turning to more sustainable practices, with Veuve Clicquot in particular promising to eliminate the use of herbicides in the next two years according to cellar master Dominique Demarville, having invested in new equipment to manage weeds under the vines, as well as between them.

Meanwhile, Champagne’s biggest in biodynamics is Louis Roederer, which now farms 40 hectares according to the principles of this controversial farming practice. President of the house Frédéric Rouzaud said that the techniques applied in these vineyards were being used to help the house manage its further 200ha in a more sustainable way. Roederer is also one of the few houses, along with Philipponnat, using horses to plough the vineyards.

Vying for the region’s largest organic label with Duval Leroy is Canard-Duchêne’s “Authentic Green”, which currently accounts for around 70,000 bottles each year, but Groupe Thiénot, which owns the brand, aims to increase production to 100,000 bottles.

Others experimenting with more sustainable viticulture include Lanson, which is now farming its clos on the outskirts of Reims organically, and Taittinger, which is trialing biodynamics on three hectares of the brand’s 235ha.

However, organic and biodynamically farmed vineyards are still a tiny proportion of the total Champagne area – 400 hectares are managed in this way, which represents just a little over 1% of the region’s area.

Other Champagne trends reported by the drinks business include:

8. Disgorgement debate

9. Reinstating rituals

10. Sweet surge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

New Business Development Manager Nordic

Concha Y Toro
Stockholm, Sweden

Experienced Administrator

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

Sales Executive (London – Craft Spirits)

Bimber Distillery
London, UK

2 x Buying Assistants

Berry Bros. & Rudd
Battersea and Basingstoke, UK

Temporary Christmas Sales Support - Wines & Spirits

Harrods
Knighsbridge, London, UK

Head of Wholesale

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

Sales Manager

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Amsterdam,Netherlands
20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 2017
Click to view more

Green Awards 2017

Deadline : 25th October 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 30th October 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more