20 October, 2001

Vines for wine only for professionals

Vine in autumn colours outside one of the champagnehouses of Verzy.

Our local paper likes the idea of closeness to the readers. A way to demonstrate this is to answer their various questions on everything you can imagine on page 2 and publish the answer the next day.

Some days ago I stumbled into an interesting question in our region: Can you skip the lawn and plant Pinot Noir or Chardonnay all over your garden? The subsoil in Champagne after all is perfect to grow and store wine. Almost too good an opportunity to miss. So of course you cannot.

Vines that produce grapes for wine are subdued rules and laws just like so many other subthemes regarding growing and producing wines. If you are not a winegrower, you must stick to decorative vines such as the amandin and the perdin or to vines that produce tables grapes such as the chasselas doré and the muscat says Jean-Mary Tarlant, who is chairman of the syndicate of winegrowers in Champagne, to the newspaper l'Union.

Just for decoration
In the old days - and I do not know excactly when that happened to be - farmers were allowed to plant an area of 2500 square meters with vines and use the grapes for wine for their own consumption. Those were the days.

Now you can grow one single plant in espalier but only for decoration. I presume it is allowed to eat the grapes though, Even grapes for champagne are quite small, they taste fine. As long as you like their touch of acidity.

We have one small Pinot Noir in our garden. I hope it is included i the rule. Otherwise we must build an espalier fast fast fast, so we do not put the license in any danger.

But now I would like to know if the vines we last May found for sale outside the Chapel Down vinery in Southern England just happen to be another example of the usual British stretching and bending the EU-rules to the limit. Maybe the customers are only allowed one plant.

Or the English winegrowers may just be happily not knowing the degree of details, when it comes to EU-regulations of vines. Because apparently the legislation on these matters is dealt with at Bruxelles-level.

På dansk

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