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Your email address will not be published.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 *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Brand Ambassador – Santa Rita Estates

Santa Rita Estates
London or Hertfordshire but with flexibility to travel, UK

Sales Executive - Wine and Spirits Awards

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

On-Trade Channel Manager

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Trade Marketing Analyst

Delegat Europe (UK)
London, GB

Key Account Executive

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Senior National Account Manager

Conviviality
London, UK

ON-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

OFF-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Judging Week Runners

Decanter World Wine Awards
ExCel Centre, London E16, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

Retail Commercial Executive

Laithwaite's Wine
Theale, Berkshire

Wine Buyer

Conviviality Plc
Crewe, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 31st March 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more