CHAMPAGNE ANNOUNCES 2016 HARVEST KICKOFF
The start dates are provided by village and grape varietal, ensuring that every plot is picked at the optimum time. As it is done every year, all of the grapes are handpicked—part of the Champagne appellation’s strict regulations and one of the key steps to producing the unique, high-quality sparkling wine that is Champagne.
Only grapes from specific, delineated plots in the appellation can be used to produce Champagne. Located 90 miles northwest of Paris, the region covers less than 80,000 acres. From growing grapes to blending wines, the winemaking process is a carefully orchestrated system of adjustments that all adds up to make Champagne.
“Champagne only comes from Champagne, thus the houses and growers rely on the land and must work together during the harvest,” said Sam Heitner, Director of the Champagne Bureau, USA. “The community’s careful coordination of the harvest goes hand in hand with their commitment to quality and preserving this unique terroir.”
Champagne has sought to do its part to reduce environmental impact since launching its environmental intervention program in 2001 and, in 2003, commissioning the first carbon footprint audit by a wine region. Additionally, last year, the Comité Champagne launched an environmental certification for wine growers to demonstrate their environmental stewardship and step up their long-held commitment to protecting Champagne.
Champagne is already an established leader in region-wide environmental initiatives. The appellation has been committed to best environmental practices for a long time, with the carbon footprint audit leading to a multifaceted campaign focused on reducing Champagne’s carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2020 and 75 percent by 2050. The campaign is already having an impact. Carbon emissions have reduced by 15 percent since 2003. This reduction is due to the introduction of more than 50 initiatives previously established to decrease the industry’s impact on the environment. For example, the introduction of a new standard bottle, which is only two ounces lighter, has reduced carbon emissions by 8,000 metric tons (equivalent to approximately 4,000 cars) annually.
Notable achievements include:
· 50 percent reduction in the use of pesticides/vine protection products;
· The treatment of 100 percent of all winery wastewater;
· 50 percent reduction of nitrogen byproducts from fertilizers and pesticides;
· The recovery and re-usage of 90 percent of Champagne by-products and 100 percent of waste;
· Unprecedented use of alternative pest management techniques (over 40 percent of the appellation uses sexual confusion practices to reduce infestations); and
· Over 25 percent of the region is now ISO 14001 certified.
The Champagne appellation is uniquely situated to confront this issue because the entire region — from growers to houses to suppliers — understands the importance of working together to respond to the changes taking place in the world and to maintain its commitment to quality.
About The Champagne Bureau, USA
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211