Why did we choose to respect biodiversity and adopt the principles of agroecology ?
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The choice to pursue environmentally friendly agriculture stems above all from our deep historical and family interest in the well-being of the planet. According to the CNIV in 2019, France produced 4.2 billion litres of wine, representing 17% of world production. It is the second largest wine producer in the world behind Italy in terms of volume.
With nearly 500,000 direct and indirect jobs generated in France, viticulture is the leading occupation in the agricultural sector. For us, it was therefore essential to adapt our techniques and work habits and to be an actor of the necessary change in this sector.
Biodiversity and viticulture are two closely related topics and the stakes are high for the wine and vine sector when it comes to global warming.
So, what are these major challenges and what solutions have we decided to adopt in order to protect our planet and reduce our impact?
How does climate change affect wine production?
Global warming is a global climate transformation phenomenon characterized by a general increase in average temperatures. With high heat and rising temperatures, the vines grow much earlier than usual and are therefore more exposed to frost. That is why we have adopted a late pruning system that allows vines to grow as late as possible and be more resistant to spring frost episodes that are now recurring.
What solutions have we adopted to save our viticulture?
French scientists from the Institut National de Recherche pour l'Agriculture, l'Alimentation et l'Environnement (INRAE) conducted a study to take stock of the consequences of this climate change on wine. They also proposed possible solutions to save the vineyards.
At Château Beaurang, we feel very involved in keeping our vineyard healthy. So we followed these advice but also found solutions that would allow us to take care of our own vines.
HEV certification: HIGH ENVIRONMENTAL VALUE
It is an environmental certification that distinguishes farms whose production methods are particularly environmentally friendly. The farm must reason its practices on the scale of the farm, it follows principles of agro-ecology. The HEV certification attests to this environmental excellence in 4 areas: biodiversity, environmental strategy, fertilisation management and irrigation (the latter does not concern viticulture). The farm puts nature and agronomy at the centre of agricultural activity; we are talking about biodiversity, natural interactions, living soils, plant engineering, dynamic agronomy and independence from plant protection products. Château Beaurang has been HEV certified since 2019. To fulfil these conditions, we must respect the environment that has been maintained for generations, in accordance with our traditions and values that have been transmitted to us. The selection of the plant protection products used and the reduction of the doses used allows us to respect the HEV environmental certification, but also to pay attention to the environment around us while having a vineyard in a satisfactory sanitary state.
Natural grassing and reasoned mowing
We have chosen to install in our vineyard a natural grassing and to practice a reasoned mowing. Between the rows of vines we keep the grass that grows naturally: it is a real asset for the vine and thanks to the bio-indicator plants we have information on the state of the soil (deficiencies). The main benefits of this method are both the preservation of auxiliary wildlife and the promotion of biodiversity. These techniques are simple and effective, it is enough to leave nature to do and to adopt a more sustainable and reasoned mowing by not mowing all the plots at the same time and not too short to leave place for the friendly insects who live there, reproduce and feed there.
Cleaning and maintenance of our tanks
Our involvement for the planet does not stop at the exit of our vineyards but continues in the cellar. For example, for all the cleaning of our tanks, whether they are made of stainless steel or concrete, we have decided not to use any harmful maintenance products, but to use only hot water vapour. Because yes, steam has a strong disinfectant power!
Solutions to fight global warming
From the environmental biodiversity of vineyards to the creation of wine biodiversity through the use of genetic resources, there is only one step. The decline in the uses of plant protection products fits perfectly in the context of integrated production we have chosen (that is to say an agricultural practice taking into account all the elements, people, environment, biodiversity etc.).
The global approach, from soil maintenance to the preservation of auxiliary wildlife, that we adopt guarantees us a high added value production for a balanced biodiversity. Monoculture then becomes an important source of genetic and biological diversity.
Taking care of our vines, allows us to offer a quality product of which we are proud and which corresponds to the values of our family and our heritage.
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