Organic Viticulture in Champagne
Organic viticulture has been practised in Champagne since the 1970s, initially by a handful of winemakers. It will remain marginal and confidential in the appellation for a very long time.
A shift is made in the passage of the XXI century and due to the renewal of generations and the strong awareness of the environmental disturbances caused by the use of synthetic pesticides, more and more Champagne winemakers are interested and choose organic certification. The surfaces led in organic farming have been multiplied by 5 in the last 10 years in Champagne!
In 2021, the vineyard committed in organic agriculture concerns 8% of the areas of the appellation. The 2,751 hectares of vines (of which 1,790 hectares are being converted) are distributed over various wine-growing sub-regions, La Montage de Reims, La Vallée de la Marne, La Côte des Blancs & Le Vitryat, La Côte des Bar.
If organic viticulture remains very little supported by the Champagne trade organisation, we can rejoice that between 2020 and 2021, despite a very climatically challenging year, the increase of surface area was considerable : more than 34%! This figure demonstrates the happy dynamic at work among the winemakers and today some Champagne Houses.
Association des Champagnes Biologiques
In 1998, a few winegrowers pioneering organic viticulture in Champagne created the Association des Champagnes Biologiques (ACB). Driven by the need to provide support and assistance in the face of an unfavourable professional environment, new members are gradually joining them and are coming to promote the exchange of knowledge and contribute to the development of environmentally friendly farming practices.
In 2022, the ACB brought together 170 members (grape or champagne producers) and some 15 supporters.
Their commitment to cultivating their vines without resorting to synthetic chemistry is motivated by the knowledge of the natural balances of the microbial life of the soils, the respect of their terroirs and their diversities, but also respect for their fellow citizens and future generations.
In addition, the members undertake to participate in the actions of the association: technical exchanges, openings of fields to people interested in organic farming, days of mutual aid, participation in collective communication, organic champagne tastings in France and abroad, defense of the label AB... etc.
The ACB is part of the National Federation of Organic Agriculture (FNAB) and is a member of the France Vin Bio network.
All members share the same conviction: it is possible to offer the best of the diversity of the terroirs of Champagne while preserving natural resources.