The persistent humidity and heat in Bordeaux AOC last July made fungus Mildeu to complete its cycle. Nearly 90% of the vines of Gironde are affected. Many of winemakers have lost the harvest 2023.
In fact, with 5’424 vineyards covering over 108’000 hectares, Bordeaux has the highest number of sustainable growers certified with the label of High Environmental Value HVE, the highest area of more than 25’000 ha of certified organic vines in France and the highest number of Demeter biodynamic labels. The problem of mildew is a true calamity as use of fungicides is not permitted for organic and biodynamic winegrowers.
Since spring 2021 following more than decade of research carried out by scientists and winegrowers in Bordeaux the national Institute of Origin and of Quality INAO has authorized the introduction of six Varieties of Interest for Adaptation VIFA (4 red and 2 white grape varieties) in the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur PDO technical specifications.
The VIFAs will be limited to 5% of the area under vine and 10% of the final blend (mention on the label not authorized).
These six varieties selected in Bordeaux were mainly chosen for aromas close to existing Bordeaux profiles, late ripening and the ability to resist water stress and certain diseases including mildew and oidium.
But the climate changes much quicker than vineyards can afford. Replanting takes time and the present situation shows that we are lacking it.