At a time when the global fight against climate change is more urgent than ever, the Champagne region of France remains committed to sustainable development in winemaking. The houses and growers of Champagne are actively engaged in innovative techniques and initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and mitigate environmental harms related to climate change. With Earth Day around the corner, I wanted to provide you with additional information about sustainability efforts in Champagne.
Global warming is a local reality for Champagne. As you may know, the 2018 harvest season was the fifth vintage beginning in August in the last 15 years. While great for grape yields, bumper harvests also signal a changing climate that winemakers must adapt to.
In 2003, Champagne was the first wine-growing region in the world to conduct a carbon footprint assessment. The resulting carbon plan has enabled the region to reduce the emissions generated by each bottle of Champagne by 20 percent over the last 15 years. Currently, Champagne wineries also treat and reuse 100 percent of their wastewater and treat and recycle 90 percent of their industrial waste.
Champagne’s sustainability goals include lowering its total carbon footprint 75 percent by 2050 and using zero herbicide products by 2025. With 100 percent of Champagne vineyards committed to continuous improvement, these goals are both possible and attainable.
More than 20 percent of the Champagne vineyard has already been environmentally certified, and 15 percent is certified in sustainable viticulture. This number will continue to grow as the region works toward reaching its goal of 100 percent environmental certification by 2030.