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Olivier Dauga makes Green Winemaking Charter

Single-minded Bordeaux wine consultant Olivier Dauga has taken a leading role in ensuring Bordeaux reaches its commitment towards reduction in carbon emissions.

As an influential consultant in the region, working with over 30 properties, Dauga is using his role to convince wine producers to adopt a more environmental-friendly approach to their winemaking.

“We need to be thinking together about how we can protect our environment and our cultural heritage for future generations. I believe that organic winemaking doesn’t go far enough, and it is difficult to follow financially. Instead, this Charter is based upon common sense, and practical ways to lower carbon footprint while making natural, healthy wines.’ says Dauga.

The charter has taken nearly a year to research and compile, helped by geology masters researcher Romain Leycuras.

Launched December, Dauga hopes to begin rolling it out with his clients in early 2010.

The Charter looks at key stages across the entire winemaking cycle, and suggests concrete ways to optimise energy consumption, to reduce dependence on non-renewable sources of energy, to phase out use of herbicides, to apply prevention rather than cure measures against disease, to respect treatment thresholds, to encourage biodiversity, and to ensure reduced use of sulphur in the cellars.
“There are many practical ways which ensure clean, clever winemaking and keep the quality of our wines paramount,’ says Dauga. “Part of the solution is using sensible viticulture such as clearing weeds away manually and not using treatments, and partly it is understanding as new technologies evolve to help us find ecologically-sound solutions. Part of my job with this charter will be to ensure my clients know not just what is out there, but what is coming.

Click her to download a copy of his Green Winemaking Charter

Bordeaux began the ‘Carbon Initiative’ in 2008, a six-month study that found the industry produces 200,000 tonnes of carbon per year. Alain Vironneau, president of the Bordeaux Wine Bureau (CIVB), said at the time, “We intend to bring this figure down by 30,000 tonnes within five years, and to have an overall reduction of 75% by 2050. “ The first of Dauga’s clients interested in this Charter include Roques Mauriac, la Vieille Chapelle, Grand Boise, Caronne Ste Gemme and Domaines Castel.


1 December 2009 - Felicity Murray