ORGANIC VITICULTURE IN CHAMPAGNE
Organic viticulture has been practiced in Champagne since the 1970s, first by seven precocious winemakers: Jacques BEAUFORT (Ambonnay), Jean BLIARD (Hautvillers), Serge FAUST (Vandières), Roger FRANSORET (Mancy), Georges LAVAL (Cumières), Yves RUFFFIN (Avenay Val d'Or), and Pierre THOMAS (Oger).
It has been recognized in France since 1981 and a real craze for this method of cultivation does not appear until the 2000s.
In 2018, the production of organic champagne concerns 204 estates and 923 hectares of vines, including 444 hectares in conversion. These areas are divided between the departments of Marne, Aube and Aisne. They represent 2.9% of the Champagne appellation area, a figure well below those of other vineyards (recall: 12% of the French vineyard is conducted in AB in 2018) but which corresponds to an increase in surface area 38% compared to 2017, an increase still unmatched and very promising.
2019 figures of the Regional Observatory of Organic Agriculture.
The conversion to organic farming corresponds to the transition phase to certification in organic farming. For the production of grapes, it is the fourth harvest realized after the engagement of the domain with a certifying body, which will be certified in AB. In addition, AOC Champagne requires bottling no earlier than the month of January following the harvest, as well as aging in bottles for a minimum of 15 months, ie at least 2 years of vinification.
It takes at least 6 years to produce Certified AB Champagnes for an estate that starts a conversion.
Some engaged winegrowers, members of the ACB, do not yet market organic champagne because of this delay.
Find the complete list of winemakers engaged in organic certification on the website of the Bio Agency:
Many non-organic winemakers are interested in the practices of organic viticulture and winemaking, notably by taking part in training courses organized by certified winemakers, which suggests a still favorable evolution of conversions.
But without commitment AB from them, they can not be present on the website of the Bio Agency and they can not therefore claim to communicate on a practice of organic viticulture.