Soon, one third of Côte-d’Or estates will be organic

Wednesday October 06 2021 by Vitisphere

“Estates are not making the changes lightly. They are aware that they need to change their practices, but not at any cost”, comments Agnès Boisson.“Estates are not making the changes lightly. They are aware that they need to change their practices, but not at any cost”, comments Agnès Boisson. - Photo credit : BIVB

Burgundy is not holding its horses when it comes to organic winegrowing. Due to its northerly location, organic techniques may have been a concern in the past. Now, according to 2020 data from Orab Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 17% of vineyards are committed to organic farming – either already certified or in the switch-over phase – compared to a national average of 14%.

 

In just a year, vineyard area farmed using organic techniques has risen from 4,400 to 5,700 hectares (+28%), out of a total 30,000 ha across Burgundy. Orab describes the momentum as “unprecedented”. In the departments of Yonne (Chablis) and Nièvre (Pouilly-Fumé and Giennois) alone, areas in the conversion phase in 2020 are even greater than those already certified. But Côte d'Or (Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits) is where most progress has been made. More than a quarter of area under vine is already committed to organic farming. “And this will be in excess of 30% in 2021”, announces Agnès Boisson from the BioBourgogne association.

 

Boisson, who provides assistance to many estates across Côte d’Or, views the momentum as the culmination of an ongoing process. “The profile of estates converting to organic today is very interesting – most of them are large estates that have a very specific idea of where they are headed. Some have been looking into organic farming for at least ten years. Others have already made all the necessary investments before coming to see me. Many have been using tillage for many years and have already written off the loss in yields”. Co-operatives are also among businesses ready for change. “They are not burying their head in the sand. Many of them have been successful, with a few member growers, in supplying an organic range, and promoting it”.

 

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