The number of wine producers converting to organic viticulture has tripled in France during the last five years, taking the sector from scarcity to abundance.
However, the increase has been so rapid that organic producers are now faced with a conundrum: will increased supply wipe out the price premium that organic winemakers need to charge to survive?
By the end of 2012, France had some 65,000 hectares of vineyard in organic production. That represents 8.2 percent of all French vineyards according to Agence Bio, a promotional body for organic agriculture. In comparison, the figure for organic production in French agriculture as a whole was just 3.8 percent.
“In organic farming, wine is the sector that’s grown the most quickly,” says Agence Bio chairwoman, Elisabeth Mercier.