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.
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.
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.