Environmental and economic concerns are motivating the development of an approach called “lutte raisonnée” that involves fewer chemicals. Organic viticulture is also used
Environmental and economic concerns are motivating the development of an approach called “lutte raisonnée”, where growers actively strive to reduce the vine’s sensitivity (for example by planting vineyards with grass, which limits sensitivity to grey rot) and make use of the balance of nature (for example, by using predators to control other acarids). Organic viticulture is also present.
Approximately 8 treatments are necessary to guarantee harvest quality. The major problems with vine health arise from the Atlantic climate and Ugni Blanc‘s characteristics. Year-round rainfall encourages the development of fungal diseases: downy mildew, powdery mildew. These dreaded diseases require constant vigilance. Ugni Blanc is also very sensitive to wood diseases and bacterial necrosis. On the other hand, its loose bunches are not very prone to grey rot. Overall, pests are not a big problem, but the presence of “flavescence dorée” (a virus-like disease) makes it necessary to treat a portion of the vineyards against the insect that spreads it.
The particularity of the Cognac vineyards imposes specific restrictions concerning the use of phytosanitary products.
The BNIC has established a monitoring and communication unit to address this situation.
The objective is to provide the region’s technicians and winegrowers with recommendations regarding phytosanitary protection, while respecting consumer food safety. As part of the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) approach, the BNIC’s Station Viticole is establishing a classification of phytosanitary products into three lists, taking into account the various results obtained to date. These lists have been established based on the particularities of the vineyards and Cognac production characteristics. In no case may they be generalized to other situations. This information is updated and distributed once yearly in May. It is available on the BNIC website: www.cognac.fr. Recommendations for the use of phytosanitary products are also available on the database via the BNIC Extranet, where they are continually updated as new results are obtained.