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Chemical weeding banned in the vineyards of Pomerol

Par Vitisphere Le 26 octobre 2021
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Chemical weeding banned in the vineyards of Pomerol
Bordeaux’s right bank appellation has made tillage and grass cover mandatory for vineyard management. - crédit photo : AOC Pomerol

Chemical weeding is banned. Mechanical or physical control of grass cover in vineyards is mandatory”. The wording of new specifications for producing Pomerol appellation wines – validated by a decree published on October 20 – is nothing if not terse. “In 2008, Pomerol included a ban on total weed control in its specifications as a minimum requirement. We intend to stay ahead of the curve with this latest ban on all forms of weeding”, explains appellation chairman Jean-Marie Garde, who goes on to stress that “in Pomerol, almost everyone uses tillage or grass cover. We are ready for this, it is a collective decision”. While acknowledging that the ban entails extra costs, which can be absorbed by a prestigious and prized appellation, but is more challenging for other wine regions, Garde claims, “we must be a driving force”.

In France, “this is the first AOC to totally ban chemical weed control”, stresses Laurent Fidèle, New Aquitaine regional representative of the national origin and quality institute (INAO), pointing to similar plans being mulled in Corsica (for the Patrimonio appellation) and in Provence (AOC des Baux de Provence). For the control plan itself, there will be a visual check of the vineyards and inspection of company ledgers, explains Fidèle. Pomerol specifications also include more traditional agri-environmental measures, such as the removal of dead vines and calculation of the Treatment Frequency Index (TFI), which are becoming more widespread in Bordeaux. “We were ahead of the curve and still are. If we review specifications, we might as well include other items…” says Garde.


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