Sustainable Wine Growing

The Champagne region as one of the oldest in the world and it is no surprise it has been committed to sustainable winegrowing practices since 2001. The Champagne industry has set a goal of a 25% reduction in the industry’s total Green House Gas emissions by 2020 and a four to five-fold reduction by 2050. To achieve this an environmental impact assessment was undertaken in the early 2000s and identified 4 key areas for action:

▸ Control of inputs and their potential impact on health and environment
▸ preservation and enhancement of terroirs, biodiversity and landscapes
▸ accountable management of water, wastewater, by-products and waste
▸ the need to address the energy/climate challenge

The process of getting certified takes many years. Here are some of the early adopters who we can visit on one of our Artisan Day Tours.

The results so far?


▸ 50% reduction in the use of vine protection products
▸ 100% treatment of all winery waste water
▸ 90% recovery and re-use of Champagne by-products and 100% of waste
▸ 15% reduction in the carbon footprint incurred by the production of each Champagne bottle

The aim is to achieve 100% sustainability in Champagne winegrowing, mobilising all the resources required to exceed the targets set by the French Grenelle II act.

Champagne producers can choose between:


▸ 1. Grower-assessed
▸ 2. Certified sustainable vineyard practices
▸ 3. Organic winegrowing

Easier said than done. First is the problem of definition. Organic farming/viticulture refer to the purity of product and using non-synthesized ingredients. Biodynamic wine growing looks at the holistic health of the agriculture and ecological self-sufficiency. Sustainable farming considers mitigation and reduction of waste as the foremost important process.

The Champagne region has nearly 16,000 wine growers. They don’t want to risk losing their crop or dropping yields by converting. Organic or biodynamic vines can yield 30 percent less than intensively farmed vineyards. This translates into significantly lower earnings, which when combined with higher farming costs which have to be passed on to the producers, and the fact there is no universal agreement that organic grown grapes result in better tasting champagne, one can understand the difficulty of converting.

The process of getting certified takes many years. Here are some of the early adopters who we can visit on one of our Artisan Day Tours.

Champagne EMMANUEL BROCHET - Villers Aux Noeuds
Date d'engagement en certification : 2008


Champagne PHILIPPE LANCELOT - Cramant
Date d'engagement en certification : 2011


Champagne MOUZON LEROUX - Verzy
Date d'engagement en certification : 2011


Champagne RODEZ - Ambonnay
Date d'engagement en certification : 2008

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