European manifesto: growers of own-rooted vineyards seek endorsement and UNESCO classification

Tuesday June 15 2021 by Vitisphere

 “It is no accident that these winegrowers, who represent the crème de la crème, all have own-rooted vines”, says Loïc Pasquet. “It is no accident that these winegrowers, who represent the crème de la crème, all have own-rooted vines”, says Loïc Pasquet. - Photo credit : M. Dagnino

There could be some hard graft ahead for nine winegrowers and consultants from Germany, France (Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Burgundy, Champagne and the Rhone Valley), Georgia, Greece and Italy who met on June 10 in the Principality of Monaco to officialise their desire to create a European association for wines made from own-rooted vines. Once the legal statutes have been finalised over the summer, the group must then be formalised for it to realise its ambitious projects of EU endorsement and listing as an ancient technique under UNESCO's intangible heritage scheme.

The own-rooted endorsement is a trust mark that provides evidence that the wines come from own-rooted vines in vineyard sites that birthed these grape varieties”, states one of the group’s first working documents officially presented in Monte Carlo. “The idea is not to endorse self-rooted Merlot in Languedoc or Pinot noir in Bordeaux”, adds Loïc Pasquet, the Bordeaux winegrower behind Liber Pater, “the most expensive wine in the world” that sells for €30,000 a bottle, who is the driving force behind the planned association (and candidate for the presidency).

Loïc Pasquet continues to advocate his vision of winegrowing rooted in the history of its wine region. “When you put an own-rooted vine back in its place of birth, you save a legacy”, he says, claiming that he is fighting to safeguard an ancient ‘taste of place’. Support for his approach was confirmed by attendance by Georgian President Salome Zourabichvilia, the chef Guillaume Gomez, personal ambassador to the French President and Prince Albert II of Monaco, who hosted an informal comparative tasting of wines from grafted and self-rooted vines at Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum.

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