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Saumur Champigny champions biodiversity

Published:  23 July, 2008

The first biodiversity project focused on one appellation has got underway in Saumur Champigny region.

The AOC initiative will see the planting and expansion of Ecological Reservoir Zones (ERZs) and is funded by the Syndicat des Producteurs de Saumur Champigny, a EU grant and local government.

ERZs are created through the planting and maintenance of hedges, copses and grassland, which house beneficial natural predators for vines pests.

This method of biodiversity also ensures vegetative thoroughfares are created in the heart of the AOC vineyards and should reduce the level of external treatment needed for the vines.

Fredrik Filliatreu, president du Syndicat des Producteurs de Saumur Champigny, said: "Fifty years ago this area was poly-vegetal, and other crops were mixed up with the vines.

"Now it is a mono-culture and the natural balance has been eschewed. This planting programme will restore the equilibrium, so vines will be more robust."

It will be a number of years before the project reaches maturity and starts to benefit wine growing in the region, Filliatreu added.