The two labels that can be found for Agriculture Biologique

a)     Presentation

There are in fact 2 possible labels concerning the Organic Agriculture of the vine. The first is the ‘AB’ logo (which stands for ‘Agriculture Biologique’, which can be translated as ‘Organic farming) which is recognized in France. The second, the ‘Eurofeuille’ logo which is recognized at European level.

The Label AB certification applies when a winegrower does not use any chemicals (“synthetic”) or GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), and production includes the recycling of waste. Only fertilizers and pesticides of natural origin are authorized. Being certified organic means more generally protecting the vine by fighting against pests with biological agents, preserving natural resources, respecting the environment and developing biodiversity. Today, organic certification covers the grapes and the entire winemaking process such as the oenological practices which are supervised.

Both are official labels issued by government agencies. 9 independent bodies approved for inspections.

b)     Main guidelines

The AB label encourages farming practices that preserve the biodiversity and stability of the soil, a soil whose fertility is favored by the spreading of composted organic matter, preferably from organic production.

It also recommends the use of biodynamic preparations, and recommends fighting against pests, diseases and weeds by protective actions against predators, choice of species and adapted varieties, crop rotation, etc.

The AB label is centered around 2 major principles:

The vine from which the wine is made must not have received any synthetic chemical treatment during the last 3 years (at least)

Instead, the organic winemaker will use natural pesticides, such as copper or sulphur. For these two elements, maximum doses must be respected in terms of use per hectare for copper, and in terms of mg/L for sulfur (or its other name, “sulfites”)

Fertilizers and amendments require prior authorization for their use, and the use of plant protection products is only authorized in the event of a proven threat to the crop.

c)     An example of a certified winery in Bordeaux

The Domaine des Carmels in the AOC Cadillac-Cotes de Bordeaux is an example of a vineyard certified Organic Agriculture.

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