27 Anjou and Saumur appellations stop blanket chemical weed control

Friday November 08 2019 by Vitisphere

 'We are asking the State to take responsibility. We want the same rules to apply across France' stressed the Anjou and Saumur wine producers’ organisation. 'We are asking the State to take responsibility. We want the same rules to apply across France' stressed the Anjou and Saumur wine producers’ organisation. - Photo credit : Patrick Touchais

At last! Legislation formalising new specifications for the 27 Anjou-Saumur appellations has just been published, and contains one hard-hitting measure: the end of blanket chemical weed control over the 18,000 ha of appellation vineyards.

The wording of the official rules is explicit: “Controlled cover crops, either natural or sown, are mandatory between vine rows; in the absence of cover crops, producers must use tillage to control natural plant growth or justify the use of biological control products approved by the authorities for winegrowing. If biological weed control is used on a plot, the use of other forms of weed control is prohibited”.

It took more than two years for the decision to be implemented, after being voted by every appellation, one by one, in the first half of 2017. From now on, the measure is part of appellation rules. “We are very proud. We are the first wine region in France to roll out the measure across an entire area”, pointed out the chairman. “We want to make progress on the environment, but we are opposed to arbitrary decisions”, he added, alluding to no-spray buffer zones.

Anjou winegrowers are convinced of one thing: they must engage with local residents, “who are also our customers”, by explaining quite simply that every vine needs to be sprayed, whether organic or not.

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