Appellations can now carry out varietal R&D

Wednesday September 19 2018 by Vitisphere

Appellations will be able to experiment with new grape varieties that are not yet included in production specifications.Appellations will be able to experiment with new grape varieties that are not yet included in production specifications. - Photo credit : INRA/IFV

Trade representatives at national appellation institute INAO have approved changes for planting AOC grape varieties. The AOC wine board has authorised the introduction of new varieties to AOC production specifications – under certain conditions – paving the way for appellations to carry out their own varietal R&D. “The change is fuelled by our desire to take into account environmental issues advocated by society and to adapt to climate change”, commented the chairman of the INAO wine board Christian Paly.

In practical terms, and after more than a year of reflection, INAO has validated the creation of a third category of grape varieties called “grape varieties for climate and environmental adaptation”. This comes in addition to the two existing categories of main and accessory cultivars. Varieties that can be included in the third category are of vitis vinifera origin and ones that have been permanently listed in the French catalogue of vine varieties. They may therefore be disease-resistant varieties or ones that have never been grown in the appellation area but are of interest for adapting to climate change.

Controlled introduction

The varieties in the new category can be incorporated into production specifications under certain conditions, in order to control their introduction. Their number will be limited to ten grape varieties per colour and twenty grape varieties of any colour. In addition, the third category of grape variety can be no higher than 5% of the varietal range.

The introduction of one or more grape varieties on a farm will lead to a formal agreement between INAO, the producers’ organisation and the wine grower that will be valid for 10 years. At the end of this period, the grape variety(s) will be assessed to ascertain whether or not they are worthwhile within the appellation area.

 

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