Vitibio, the association for organic vineyard growers that was set up in 2008, held its annual general meeting on the 30th January 2012.

With 31 current members in attendance, discussions about the trials and tribulations of the organic wine grower were led by the association’s founder, Lionel Pelletier.

Organic Cognac Growers still a Minority in the Region

Farming the vines in an organic manner is no simple task.  And this is shown by the small amount of growers and hectares that are tended in this manner.  Bio farming takes around 30 per cent more work, and of the 75,000 hectares of Cognac vineyards, only 600 hectares are classed as organic.

Bio farming in cognac

To add even more insult to injury, around 50 per cent of all organically produced wine ends up going to conventional wine makers, where it’s not even labelled organic.  This is simply because of the demand for eaux-de-vie, and the cognac houses need to buy up every drop available.

Mini bottles of Guy Pinard, the reference for organic cognac

Mr Pelletier noted that despite this, there have been five or six younger growers in the past few years who’ve decided to rise to the bio challenge.  Interestingly it seems that women are more likely to take notice of the organic side of the business.

One organic market to which there is currently no supply is that of organically produced Pineau.  Pelletier hopes that within five years that the organic growers will rise to the challenge and plug this gaping hole, as there is definitely the demand for this.

The Scandinavian countries and Germany are currently the largest market for organically produced cognac.

Sources: www.sudouest.fr

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Ole Cigar

    “No comments yet. Be the first to leave a comment !”

    I left a positive feedback on Biocognacs yesterday explaining the benefits on the palate.
    At the same time I was critisizing the four big ones for adding sugar and caramel.
    My response was taken out. Sensorship…

    Then my question is: Are the 4 big ones deciding what may be crititisized on Cognac Expert? Organic cognac represent a fraction of the market. I think the 4 big ones shouldn’t obstruct the honest cognacproducers.

  2. Avatar
    Ole Cigar

    Thanks, comforting.
    In this commercial world it is essential we do not let Hennesy, Heineken and McDonalds kill the small suppliers giving us the nonartificial tasty products.

    Based on your article I will go hunting for a bottle of Guy Pinard Organic Cognac, thanks!

  3. Avatar

    Of course I read with interest this article and comments.

    @Ole Cigar: I’m very pleased some consumers as you consider small producer products. But, as small Cognac house, we realise the chance for Cognac – and for us – to have the “4 big ones” as you said, because this companies promote Cognac world wide very efficiently. The most people thinks that this 4~5 main brands are Cognac and that Cognac is this main brands… And it’s true regarding sales statistics! However, be sure Heineken never can kill quality small artisanal brewery, and Hennessy will never kill honest small Cognac. We have to admit that Cognac-Expert is the only blog offering small producers a so large place…!

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