Burgundy Winemaker Fined €500 Over Pesticide Refusal
Published on Apr 13 2014 11:29 AM in Drinks
A French winemaker was fined €500 by a French court after refusing to use pesticides on his vines.
A division of the agriculture ministry brought the case against wine producer Emmanuel Giboulot.
He had not heeded a local directive in Burgundy's wine-growing Cote d'Or area to treat vines against an insect that causes disease.
Giboulot had faced a jail sentence of up to six months and a €30,000 fine over his refusal to treat his crops with chemicals.
The pesticides prevent the infectious disease known as flavescence doree.
First seen in France's southwestern Armagnac region in the 1940s, the disease then spread to the wine-producing areas of Bordeaux, Cognac, Languedoc, the Loire Valley and the Rhone.
The bacteria kills young vines; it also reduces the productivity of older vines.
All vineyard owners in the Cote d'Or area were asked to treat their vineyards with pesticides last June, following the disease being discovered in the Beaune region of Burgundy.
Olivier Lapotre, the head of the local food department, said that all vines must be treated by everyone for it to work.
"It's a deadly disease for vines and very contagious and it's because of this that such measures are obligatory," he said.
However, Giboulot won the support of environmental groups such as Greenpeace and the French Green party.
The environmentalists believe that local authorities should instead monitor the disease and remove damaged vines while limiting the usage of pesticides to areas threathened by the bacteria.
@ 2014 ESM Magazine