Maison AR Lenoble has always been committed to sustainable agriculture methods on its vineyards, as part of a longstanding sustainable development philosophy.
This approach has long since been formalised in the company’s Environmental Charter. After many years of passionate commitment to this charter by Anne and Antoine Malassagne, it is now officially recognised with the award of “Haute Valeur Environnementale” (high environmental value) certification.
This certification is the result of a legal measure (called the Grenelle de l’Environnement) instigated in France in 2007 in order to encourage sustainable development. This procedure has today emerged as a strong alternative to organic farming.
It responds to the need for official identification of farming operations that are committed to a strictly environmentally friendly approach but which are different from organic operations. It includes three levels of environmental requirements, and only the highest of these levels entitles the farm to use the “Exploitation de Haute Valeur Environnementale” wording on its products.
The difference between these two non-competing methods is that a certified organic winegrower has to follow a precise set of specifications, while a winegrower aiming for the highest of the three HVE certification levels must achieve certain benchmark values for environmental performance indicators.
The procedure to obtain HVE certification is therefore objectively quantified. It is built around four themes: biodiversity, phytosanitary strategy, fertiliser management, and water resources.
Third-level HVE certification, which Maison AR Lenoble has just been awarded, attests to the company’s attainment of the environmental performance thresholds in these four themes.
It is the reward for almost 20 years of environmentally friendly procedures put in place on the estate, such as the work on the soil (grass cover and ploughing) and sustainable disease control.
In concrete terms this 3rd-level certification of AR Lenoble means:
- Zero use of chemical fertilisers
- Practically zero use of weed-killer
- Drastic limits on the use of phytosanitary inputs to control mildew and powdery mildew
- Particular attention to biodiversity and enhancement of the vineyard, with hedgerows, orchards, embankments, trees and low walls.
The high environmental value certification of the vineyard means that Maison AR Lenoble is now only the second champagne house to receive this distinction, after Bollinger.