From Wine, naturally:
“Bordeaux is one of the most difficult regions to cultivate organically” said Borgon who has been certified bio since 1999 and followed organic practices well before then. “In a good year you get downy mildew, in another, odium. In a bad year you have them both. It is complicated but then the profession of a vigneron is complicated.”
It’s also problematic that Bordeaux is so densely planted which makes it hard to avoid contamination from neighbouring vineyards which are chemically treated. To retain their certification they need to be 12 metres away.
Despite that a growing number of producers has been turning bio – the number of organic producers has doubled in the last 4 years, according to Borgon, because of the premium organic wines attract. He’s not sure how many will stay the course. “Dfficult years like this (2012) will sort out the sheep from the goats. You need to be used to it – to be bio (organic) is an enormous amount of work. People who can’t cope will give up.”