A tour of France’s vineyards today shows that more and more wine producers prefer to let the grass and the weed remain in the vineyard instead of removing it. Today, many refrain from chemical weed control, also those who are not organic. The region of Anjou-Saumur in the Loire Valley has gone one step further. For the region’s 20,000 hectares and 27 different appellations, it is now specified in the appellation rules that chemical herbicides are prohibited.
The producers can choose different methods: let the weed grow freely, plough regularly or use other mechanical methods like mowing, plant a cover crop that dominates over weed, or remove the weed with a natural product made for example from a plant extract. For the moment, however, there are not many of those on the market. But a few are in the pipeline.
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Correction / clarification: it is still allowed under the row of vines, but not in-between, except with bio-control products.
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