AOC Médoc, Haut-Médoc and Listrac-Médoc to enforce mandatory environmental certification in two years’ time

Thursday July 29 2021 by Vitisphere

 Interestingly, future specifications for the Médoc appellations also provide for trials of new grape varieties Arinarnoa, Marselan, Castet and Touriga nacional. Interestingly, future specifications for the Médoc appellations also provide for trials of new grape varieties Arinarnoa, Marselan, Castet and Touriga nacional. - Photo credit : ODG Médoc

At an extraordinary general meeting on 5 July, the Médoc, Haut-Médoc and Listrac-Médoc appellation board validated its plans to incorporate agro-environmental measures into its new specifications. A majority of Médoc firms gave the green light to “the ban on total chemical weeding” - or blanket spraying weedkillers – and “mandatory performance measuring for use of plant protection products”, by calculating the Treatment Frequency Index or TFI. The two measures have already been adopted by other Gironde appellations after AOC Bordeaux, which voted in favour of it in 2017 and has been applying it since 2019.

Future specifications will also include “mandatory level 2 (minimum) environmental certification recognised by the State or organic farming”. The system draws on the new doctrine rolled out at France’s national institute for quality and origin (INAO), which will allow applications from Bordeaux that have been pending for years to be examined. A case in point is the Saint-Émilion wine council, which wants to impose official environmental certification (Agri Confiance, organic, biodynamic, High Environmental Value, Terra Vitis, etc.) by January 1, 2023, and Côtes-de-Bourg's desire to require its members to obtain High Environmental Value certification by 2025 (HVE, level 3 certification).

On the left bank, 70 % of vineyard acreage in AOC Médoc, Haut-Médoc and Listrac-Médoc already have certification, said the producers’ organisation, which specified that 20% are preparing to start the process. To help the remaining 30% switch over, technical support meetings are planned.

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