Hugo is anything but sympathetic to winegrowers changing their practices in the face of climate change


on forehead: red wine alert. Broadcast on September 19 at 9 pm on France 5 (and now available online), the investigative report on the environment of activist journalist Hugo Clément looks at the adaptation of the vineyard to the challenges of climate change. And seems to be condemned “violation” irrigation, a “heresy” which is matched only by “disproportion” means to protect the vines from the cold in the spring (candles, anti-freeze towers, helicopters, heating cables, watering, etc.). True guardian of the temple of French wine, the report on the other hand weaves laurels “lover of wine [qui] inventing new methods of production without pumping groundwater, without changing the alcohol level of the wine, without using pesticides or other polluting methods by adapting to the climate ». The closing words 52 minutes of the report with images that enlarge a vine planted in a spiral in the Allegria estate (in Caux, Hérault), where we can easily observe… Leaking pipes, the creator of its wine, Ghislain d’Aboville, which introduced the Vitisphere not an opponent of irrigation, especially in plant beds that cause stress.

But nuance is not really the tone chosen by this documentary, whose voice-over plays the white knight and reflects that. “Some vineyards are willing to do anything to overcome the drought, but is that justified? » Following winemaker Vincent Pugibet, Domaine de la Colombette (Béziers, Hérault), the documentary highlights his use of buried pipes to bring water from dams. “This made Jeremy, our resistance fighter who wanted to improve viticultural practices, jump” introduces the documentary, which uses as “guide to show us the excesses of some winegrowers and the solutions that respect the environment”, the director of the Kedge Wine School, Jeremy Cukierman, author, that’s right, of a book on the wine of tomorrow. For the Master of Wine, “Irrigation can be a concern” and “We will not solve one problem with other problems. We have a problem with water resources and we are in the process of destroying the resources that we miss”. Hill reservoirs or wastewater treatment (such as Narbonne Plage) are not favorable in the eyes of the report. “I was only half surprised when they arrived [pour tourner] it’s always nice and they don’t tell you to break up” Vincent Pugibet’s reaction to Vitisphereregrets that the team is not interested in managing the water used for irrigation: “To consider that there are no more grapes in Languedoc is a lack of imagination. »

Grapes are cloned in the laboratory

Turning to California, the report focuses on the use of foggers in Napa Valley. “It’s like being in a corn field” loose Hugo Clément, who asked otherwise “a form of rapid drainage using large amounts of water in perennially dry areas”. A glue for his guide, the Swiss oenologist Jean Hoeflinger (JH Wine Consulting). Unknown to the reason drip irrigation developed in France from the use of a Blackhawk helicopter as a water bomber in California, the documentary takes the same approach against the cold, followed in early April in Anjou, in Chablis and Saint-Émilion. hope “Powerful helicopters can be seen above the vines. And we will find new electric heating cables, automatic watering, fire as far as the eye can see at midnight. All of these techniques are legal and widely used. focuses on the voiceover. Who has repeatedly repeated this idea of ​​legality to better question certain practices: from the use of yeasts that produce less alcohol to allowing the labeling of alcohol levels. Until mentioned “unnatural grape” with some “laboratory cloned vines” following Jérémy Cukierman’s comment on “widely propagated clones”. More than new agronomic solutions, it is mostly a question of quick-thinking ideas in this report.

The temple keeper gave many bad points, In front seems to also encourage some adaptation methods, apparently considered less interventionist and consuming natural resources. For the cold, the solution promoted in the documentary is the one tried by the Angevin winemaker Dominique Sirot (Le Fief Noir in Saint Lambert du Lattay): covering the plots with winter curtains (the late pruning can be forgotten due to the use of electric shears using nuclear energy). For drought, the report seems to opt for the adaptation of grape varieties, with old varieties or from southern vineyards, and new production areas, by increasing altitudes, in mountainous areas , or increasing latitudes, with an example in Belgium where pastures are replaced… By vines betting on climate change and fearing the need to irrigate. White knight red alert: all gone.

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