Cognac : first harvest of varieties of resistant vinesPress release




Cognac : first harvest of varieties of resistant vines 

For the first time, the Cognac sector harvested new varieties of vines resistant to mildew and powdery mildew from the research programs of the BNIC’s Station Viticole. The six one-hectare experimental plots planted in 2018 and 2019 are the result of collective research work over a period of 20 years in partnership with the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE), the French Institute of Vine and Wine (IFV), and the players in the Cognac industry. The long-term objective of this approach is to reduce phytosanitary treatments while contributing to adaptation to climate change. 

© BNIC / Serge Detalle

The first harvests of plots of resistant vine varieties have just been completed. At the end of this harvest, the grapes are vinified and the wines will be distilled under practical conditions. 

This first large-scale campaign provides a better understanding of the cultural characteristics of these new varieties (resistance to disease, mechanical harvesting behavior, etc.) as well as the oenological qualities of the grapes and the profile of the eaux-de-vie obtained. 

The Cognac industry has been working for many years to preserve its terroir and natural resources. In this context, it has embarked on an ambitious and long-term research program on these new vine varieties. In the long termthey should enable : 

  • reduce up to 90% the phytosanitary treatments against mildew and powdery mildew, the main diseases affecting the vine; 
  • to produce distillation wines corresponding to the qualitative requirements of Cognac production; 
  • anticipate the effects of climate change

This sector program is conducted in partnership with winegrowers, trading houses and regional agricultural training institutions* that have made plots of their farms available for these experiments. 

* Domaines Camus, Domaines Hennessy, Domaines Jean MartellDomaines Rémy MartinFondation FougeratLycée Agricole de Saintes, Michel Raoux/CourvoisierSCEA vignobles Brisson 


About the BNIC Station Viticole 

The Station Viticole is the scientific and technical pole of the interprofession of Cognac (BNIC). It is also an Institute of the sector (Institut Technique Agro Industriel) recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture. Its team of 25 engineers, technicians, researchers, covers the entire chain of production and marketing of Cognac, from the quality of the vine plant to consumer safety. Its cutting-edge analytical laboratories (accredited by the French Accreditation Committee Cofrac), its experimental facilities in the vineyard, and its pilot winemaking and distillation facilities enable it to take into account, in an integrated manner, the technical questions posed by the production and trading companies in the sector. 

The main current topics, in response to the expectations of the Cognac industry, include the deployment of the Cognac environmental certification for the appellation’s winegrowers, sustainable wine production, the development of new vine varieties that are resistant to disease and adapted to climate change, innovation in distillation towards a more energy-efficient process, product quality, consumer safety and the industry’s social responsibility.  

It benefits from an important network of national and international partnerships with research and analysis organizations in the field of vine, wine and spirits.   

For more information : https://www.cognac.fr/en/bnic/viticulture-unit/