“Climate change is the new reality for the French wine industry”

Tuesday February 26 2019 by Vitisphere

“We must show respect for our businesses and vineyard sites by protecting them with appropriate measures”, stresses Bernard Angelras.“We must show respect for our businesses and vineyard sites by protecting them with appropriate measures”, stresses Bernard Angelras.

Bernard Angelras, chairman of the French Institute of Vine and Wine and the French wine industry   climate change working party, talks to Vitisphere about the issues raised.

 

In practical terms, what measures have been taken by the working party?

We know that we cannot continue to work as we did before. The good news is that we have not waited for things to happen and have already made changes to rules for the use of irrigation in appellation vineyards, the introduction of disease-resistant varieties for both AOCs and PGIs, the widespread implementation of VCI [Ed: Individual Supplementary Volume compensating for production shortfalls] and experiments with hail netting, for instance. In recent years, Inao has been proactive in allowing these adjustments. There is still a lot to be done to change regulations. We must adapt specifications to meet our agronomic objectives.

 

Why do you see climate change as the basis of national wine policy?

Climate change is the new reality! This issue raises many questions within the industry, particularly regarding our relationship with the consumer and ultimately society. By choosing to focus the French wine industry on the issue of climate change, we will be able to engage in a new dialogue. We can explain why we choose certain techniques and not others, enter into discussions with NGOs and present our progressive initiatives to them and detail why, sometimes, we are not going as fast as they would like us to. Our thought process must explore how wine growing can help slow down or limit climate change.

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