New Vine Varieties Will Reduce Need for Pesticides in French Wine Industry

French Wine Industry

The French wine industry has announced the creation of four new vine varieties.
The National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) has made Floreal, Voltis, Artaban, and Vidoc vines which are resistant to major disease. The development of these unique varieties required eighteen years of research.
“They carry the promise of a green revolution in the vineyard,” said Christophe Schneider, head researcher at INRA Grand Est-Colmar. “Resistant to downy mildew and powdery mildew, two of the major diseases of the vine.”
The Floreal vine variety is noted for its white wine with some notes of exotic fruit.
“Voltis is part of the family of fluffy white wines,” said Schneider. “Vidoc, a robust red…while Artaban provides a light, fruity wine.
France remains the largest user of pesticides in Europe with nearly 70,000 tons of active substances used every year. The wine industry is the largest user of pesticides in France’s agricultural sector.
The presence of pesticides in wine has not been the subject of study by the French government or independent agencies.
“For the past ten years, the levels have been much lower than before,” said Stephane Menager, at the Departmental Institute of Analytical Consulting.
Of the known pesticides used to fight against fungus and disease in the French wine industry, eight are known or probable carcinogens, 17 are suspected hormone disruptors, and 10 are recognized as Neurotoxins.
Nearly fifty acres of the new vine varieties will be planted in 2018 while another 250 acres are planned for 2019.
Scientists from the French Institute of Wine (IFV), the Champagne Committee, the Chambers of Agriculture of Vaucluse and Gironde, and Sicarex Beaujolais participated in this research project which began in 2000.
The result of their collaborative efforts will be a viniculture free from the overuse of pesticides while providing a renewed aromatic palette for wine lovers.

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