Starting with the 2019 vintage, every bottle of St.-Emilion wine will have been made from grapes grown with sustainable farming methods, such as organic or biodynamic viticulture. The local wine council for four Bordeaux appellations has passed a measure mandating sustainable farming. Any wine not farmed sustainably may only be bottled as generic Bordeaux.
The decision impacts nearly 3.85 million cases of wine made annually within the St.-Emilion, St.-Emilion Grand Cru, Lussac St.-Emilion and Puisseguin St.-Emilion appellations. The bold move has sparked interest from other appellations and builds on St.-Emilion's existing environmental initiatives.
"The logic was already in place," said Franck Binard, director of the St.-Emilion Wine Council, which represents 973 winegrowers. "This is a continuity of our earlier projects like GEDON [Groupements de Défense Contre les Organismes Nuisibles], which works collectively to reduce the use of insecticides, and biodiversity projects like Tulipe and BioDivine."
St.-Emilion's picturesque landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage site, added an extra impetus. "We know we need to be worthy of our UNESCO status," said Binard.
Under the new, ambitious strategy, winegrowers choose from a list of state-approved certifications, for example, organic, biodynamic or HVE 3 (Haute Valeur Environmentale). The options allow for philosophical differences.
Continue reading: Wine Spectator