You may have noticed a new label on some of our French winemakers’ bottles or they may appear in due course on newer vintages. The certification is called Haute Valeur Environnementale and was introduced in 2011, it encourages farms and vineyards to focus on increasing biodiversity, reducing and eliminating the use of pesticides, managing fertilizer inputs, and improving water management. Once a farm has attained the third and most stringent level of the certification process, it is deemed worthy of the title “High Environmental Value” (“Haute Valeur Environnementale” or HVE) and the wine maker can include this label on their wines.
Customers and wine drinkers are now more than ever curious about where their wine comes from and how it is made, and this new certificate communicates that the wine maker is adopting sustainable agriculture practices and allows wine drinkers to easily identify farms engaged in such practices.
A customer recently asked is this going to replace the organic certification? That’s a very good question, Organic certification is not the perfect solution, as its requirements do not suit every wine maker, nor every customer. Haute Valeur Environnementale provides an alternative pathway, more adaptable, perhaps, than traditional organic certification, with more emphasis on biodiversity in the vineyard.
HVE thus opens an alternative route for winemakers to put their environmental concerns into action and be recognised for it, as opposed to farming organically and not advertising it.
Pierre Lavau and Fabien Courrain are our first winemakers from Bordeaux to achieve this HVE level 3 standard on his 2016 vintage wines. The champagnes from Herve Mathelin are also are certificed HVE Level 3.