The three pillars of Sustainable Development are inseparable and complementary. They form a virtuous circle, with the aim of ensuring the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the Bourgogne wine region and the territory in which it is located.
The men and women of the Bourgogne have region undertaken to preserve and bring out the best in their territory. There are many collective initiatives which show that winegrowing and winemaking dictate the pace of life in the region. The best example of collective mobilization is the inclusion of the Climats of the Bourgogne wine region on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The sector also came together for the preservation of the Corton woodland through a non-profit organization called Paysage de Corton, comprised of wine professionals from Aloxe-Corton, Ladoix-Serrigny and Pernand-Vergelesses. The organization has also launched projects on various issues such as biodiversity and water management. And in the years ahead, other projects will see the light of day in the Bourgogne region.
Indeed, the Bourgogne wine region was a pioneer in terms of recycling waste water. Through many projects, the first of which were launched back in the early 2000s, more than 90% of waste water from the region’s wineries is now recycled. Biodiversity is also a key issue for the region. Since it signed up to a European program on the relationship between biodiversity and winegrowing landscapes, the Bourgogne wine region has enjoyed a better understanding of the flora and fauna to be found among the vines, and is now taking care to protect it, mainly through landscaping strategies involving walls, hedges, and woodland).
To continue producing quality wines, whilst limiting the environmental impact of their activity, Bourgogne winemakers had been continually updating their practices long before the question of the environment became a major issue for society. They are notably looking to the wealth of biodiversity to find ways to preserve the vine as naturally as possible, to work in the best possible way.
Biodiversity: The past, the present and future of Bourgogne wines
Biodiversity is a major element in Sustainable Development. It encompasses all living things, including human beings, and all ecosystems. Extremely rich and complex, biodiversity enables the maintenance of a natural balance between species. Because preservation of biodiversity in the vineyard is an essential component in sustainable production of quality wine, the Bourgogne wine sector has undertaken to adhere to a range of actions for its preservation and enrichment.
The notion of Sustainable Development is closely linked to the notion of profitability, and thereby to the sustainability of companies. The Bourgogne region is home to almost 4,000 wine estates, some 300 négociants, and 17 cooperative cellars. These enterprises, which together make up the Bourgogne wine sector, are all unique in their own way. Some are the result of generations of work and handing down of savoir-faire. Others are more recent affairs.
In the Bourgogne region, the average size of a wine estate is only seven hectares. The heads of some wine companies have to manage all aspects of their activity on their own: Administration, sales and marketing, vine growing, vinification, and so on. To help them preserve the continuity of their activity, solutions exist such as aid for young winemakers to set up. Because strength comes through union, professionals in the sector work hand-in-hand with structures like the BIVB and its partners.
In the Bourgogne region, wine production has a distinct artisanal dimension. Without the passionate commitment of skilled men and women, there would be no wine and no vineyards. That’s why the human aspect must be highlighted and cherished, to safeguard and enhance this centuries-old expertise.
Initial and continuous training is an important lever to boost the performance of companies in the Bourgogne wine sector. As such, the Sustainable Development approach is an opportunity to make trades in the vineyard and winery attractive, in particular with the young.