Maison Ruinart, in partnership with Reforest’Action, have begun a biodiversity pilot project throughout its entire 40-hectare parcel in the Taissy vineyard, according to a recent press release. The goal of the project is to preserve and regenerate forests in the area in order to “fight against the climate emergency and restore biodiversity.” The long-term goal is to share the approach more widely throughout the entire Champagne region.
Frédéric Dufour, President of Maison Ruinart, says of the efforts, “There is an urgent need to step up actions to nurture biodiversity and mitigate the climate change in the Champagne region. This project is one of the most accessible and effective solutions.”
Because climate change can have a direct effect on the land that is the source of its final product, Ruinart thinks of sustainability as a must and has long been a champion of environmental awareness. This is evidenced in the fact that 98.7 percent of all waste produced on-site in Reims is recycled and all by-products of the vinification process are 100 percent recycled. Most recently, this can be seen in the launch of its eco-designed second skin cases, an innovation with replaces its traditional gift boxes with a “skin” that reduces the carbon footprint by 60 percent compared to the last generation of gift boxes. The current project is the next step in that commitment to sustainability, and biodiversity.
The pilot project, which began last month, uses vitiforestry – the application of agroforestry practices to viticulture, or the relationship between the planting of trees and the cultivation of vines which leads to changes in the micro-climate of the vines. Outer hedges have already been planted and, over the next two years, a total of more than 25,000 plants, trees and shrubs will be planted. This is to include local species that will “greatly improve biodiversity and provide habitats for fauna useful for growing vines.”
Frédéric Panaïotis, Cellar Master, says of the project, “We want to regenerate the soils and bring back the original fauna and flora to this parcel through these vitiforestry practices, which allow us to reestablish ecological corridors within the historic Taissy vineyard.” Taissy, a premier cru village, makes an ideal setting for a comprehensive biodiversity project, according to the press release by Ruinart.
Reforest’Action was chosen to implement the project because of its mission to “preserve, restore and create forests in France and around the world, in response to the climate emergency and the erosion of biodiversity.” Since its inception in 2010, Reforest’Action has planted and helped save more than 10 million trees in 25 countries. kw