While no great attention has yet been paid to plants, today the vineyard is suffering. The intensification of practices, cloning, resistant varieties, and the questioning of common-sense historical viticulture are having a catastrophic impact on the vineyard.
The young vines handed over to the winegrowers wither very quickly, after just 20 years, whereas the old vineyards (those dating back to before 1970), which contribute to the creation of Grands Vins, are less affected by this decline. If we analyze the wine market, we can distinguish between two types of viticulture.
One is the mass market, which has to amortize its vineyards over 20 years: a race for production, optimum mechanization to reduce costs, low prices, the need to change grape variety according to the market…
The other, more focused on quality, claims to produce Grands Vins and highlights the uniqueness of its terroirs thanks to a deep, vigorous root system.
However, if there is no reaction or awareness, the oldest vines will eventually disappear due to their advanced age, while modern vineyards, whose death is already programmed, will not be able to replace the precious wine heritage that is still the wealth of today’s estates.
This premature rejuvenation of the vineyard clearly calls into question the notion of Grands Vins and Terroirs. While the wine nursery industry claims to be reacting by integrating certain practices and creating labels, what is really happening to the life expectancy of its plant production? Obviously necessary, these practices must above all be integrated into an overall qualitative rethinking of production models, without which the promise will be impossible to keep. Pépinière Berillon’s approach cannot be summed up as a production model: it is, and without precedent, the opening of a new path in the service of viticulture. It’s a very long-term vision, based on safeguarding genetic diversity, but one that goes far beyond that, by committing ourselves – alongside the winegrowers – to doing everything we can to restore sustainable vineyards, because without action, one day there will be no more Vins de Terroirs.