In its approach to help all types of production to implement the principles of agroecology, the French Ministry of agriculture published a new guide specific to the wine industry. As a reminder, agroecology refers to an ecological approach to agricultural production and promoting sustainable agricultural practices. This guide answers an important ambition of the industry, offering the ability to adopt a progressive approach while highlighting best environmental practices.
In an increasingly open world, where we have a tendency to lose our point of reference, ‘’terroir’’ and the countryside remain a place in which all actors see themselves. This guide will thus help wine makers, in a voluntary manner, to answer both the demands of society in terms of reducing environmental damage and to put their wineries firmly into the world of sustainability. It will also allow winemakers to offer wines to consumers coming from wineries of environmental value, by respecting and preserving biodiversity, by favoring the development of biocontrol measures, by guaranteeing better water management, and in using plant materials in a ways that is better adapted to the issues of agroecology.
For the wine making industry, five themes have been identified:
- Preserve and develop biodiversity: For example, planting hedges and bands of grassy areas, reducing or eliminating the use of herbicides, developing agroforestry, etc.
- Mastering and reducing fertilization: Limiting the use of nitrogen fertilizer, encouraging the introduction of pulse crops, etc.
- Limiting the use of phytopharmaceutical products: Improving the efficiency of the products used, by using an efficient pulverizing material that limits air drift, encouraging the use of biocontrol products.
- Encouraging better water management on farms: Respecting best practices for irrigation, notably with efficient materials and practices, encouraging thinking more about overplanting parcels, with the precense of hedges and berms.
- Using plant materials that are more adapted to agroecology: Local varieties that are better adapted to the characteristics of the area, using more varieties that are more resistant to drought and certain diseases.
For each of these large subjects, the guide gives detailed, practical advice about how to rapidly bring a vineyard into the practices of agroecology.