Since 2003 we have been committed to and certified by “Terra Vitis”, an organization, established in 1998, that aims to limit the impact on the environment by regulating procedures for both viticulture (vineyard) and viniculture (cellar) management.
Today our approach to sustainability goes beyond the “Terra Vitis” certification and we have introduced several other techniques including the pioneering “sexual confusion” method. This technique, used to protect grapes from the very destructive Eudimis butterfly, involves the slow release of organic male pheromones in the vineyards, which confuses the butterflies and prevents them from mating and laying their eggs in the vines. The more traditional method, which we no longer practice, uses neurotoxic pesticides.
We have also made great strides in our goal to limit the amount of sulfites in our wine to an absolute minimum. Sulphites are primarily used to protect the wine after the exposure to oxygen, a real risk from the moment the grapes are harvested right up until the time the wine is bottled. In 2015 we invested in a nitrogen generator allowing us to produce our own nitrogen, a completely inert gas with no negative impact on the wine. It allows us to protect our grapes and wine by chasing out the oxygen of the environment they are in and replacing it with nitrogen.
Fortunately the drive for sustainability is very current however every country has its own set of rules for what they identify as sustainable or organic; what is considered acceptable in one country can be forbidden in another. There are also dozens of different logos and labels to go along with this, making it all rather difficult to understand. For this reason we decided to create our “Eco-Friendly” sticker and provide a clear and concise message to the consumer about the ecologically sustainable nature of our wines.
I. Origin of the approach.
Terra Vitis® establishes rules to be applied in the production, which will reduce risk of impact on the environment during the agricultural work.
In 1990 the Bordeaux wine producers joined to make a common approach to their vine growing. The object of this approach was clear and precise: to be competitive whilst taking into account the economic objectives of the producers, the wishes of the consumers and the respect of the environment and terroir. After 10 years using these methods, a number of these wine producers wished to establish and to demonstrate a professional aspect to the consumers and other members of their network. This group realized that in order to do this they needed an organisation to properly represent themselves and their methods.
In 1998 it was decided to create an association Terra Vitis®, a guarantee of political independence and with the following objectives:
Other wine growing regions expressed their wish to join Terra Vitis®. All adopted the same way of thinking (Anjou, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence Alpes Cotes d’Azur, Bordeaux, Loire, Pays Nantais et Tourraine) sharing the wish to bring a national approach, and to this end created local associations.
II. Terra Vitis®.
After 10 years of using the established method in the vine growing the Terra Vitis® wine producers wished to go further by introducing new elements into their approach:
The main objectives of this project are:
Ensuring that the original Terra Vitis® idea remains intact. This project involves 3 parts in the defining of sustainable wine growing:
In 2009 a sustainable vine-growing reference was created.
III. The need for Terra Vitis®.
3.1 The Terra Vitis® reference.
Each local association member of the Terra Vitis® national federation must comply with a number of criteria:
An agricultural chamber:
The technical service of a designation association
The technical service of a professional groupment
3.2 Creation of the brand
The aim being to communicate the production approach to the consumer, it is necessary to identify this on the bottles. A commercial brand label allows the wine-makers to demonstrate their engagement in respecting the environment.
Terra Vitis® was created closely associated with these words:
To observe and to respect in production.
3.3 An efficient control system
3.3.1 The management of traceability
At the members level:
Traceability begins with the vine-stock and continues through until the bottling of the wine, the wine producer complies with strict specifications to guarantee total transparency of his work.
At customer level
A recording system has been established to ensure the traceability of the wine from the wine production until the bottling plant. The wine merchant must be able to show at any time his own tracking system as well as an inventory of the labels, back labels and the Terra Vitis® medaillon.
3.3.2 The control system.
The control system permits the verification of the different stages of the work, its conformity with established rules and to guarantee to the buyer that the wine originates from vines grown following the Terra Vitis® approach.
The control system has two stages:
An internal control made by the Terra Vitis® technical service.
An external control made by an independent certifying organisation.
In choosing Terra Vitis® wines, you support wine growers and wine cooperatives who guarantee:
An approach in production based on a choice of techniques, which are environmentally friendly, and to the Terra Vitis® specifications.