Sustainable Viticulture in Cognac

La filière Cognac engagée pour une viticulture durable et responsable
Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac
2016 > Ongoing
#SustainableAgriculture #WaterUse #C02Emissions


To have 100% of the winegrowers engaged in the environmental certification process by 2021. Of which, 50% will reach High Environmental Value (HEV) certification level 2 by 2025.


The BNIC encouraged all Cognac winegrowers to improve their standards of production by focusing on 6 pillars:

  1. Sustainability of the vineyard.
  2. Protection of the environment: use of confined spraying technology limiting the pollution of the environment.
  3. Reducing the use of phytosanitary products: ban of chemical weeding and use of alternative techniques.
  4. Management of effluents from both viticulture and distillation.
  5. Trainings, Health and Security.
  6. Promote dialogue between winegrowers and their neighbours.

Trainings and tools are provided to local wine growers to assess their level of compliance then implement the technical specifications of the certification. The BNIC aims at a gradual certification in three levels:

  • First Level: joining the initiative.  This first step comes with an individual assessment based on the above 6 pillars of the certification process (HEV level 1). The winegrower receives guidelines and trainings to comply with the criteria. 100% of the winegrowers should be engaged by 2021.
  • Second Level: Cognac environmental certification.  To go even further, winegrowers can upscale their commitment to meet the technical requirements set out in HEV level 2. The BNIC aims to certify 50% of the Cognac winegrowers at this level by 2025.
  • Third Level: towards HEV level 3.  From January 2019 a collective structure supervised by the BNIC will accompany the winegrowers in their goal to reach the highest HVE certification.


Chambre D’Agriculture de Charente
Chambre D’Agriculture de Charente-Maritime
Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin (IFV)
Agricultural cooperatives
Syndicat professionnel des courtiers en vins et spiritueux de la Région délimitée Cognac
Syndicat des maisons de Négoce
Syndicat des Bouilleurs de profession
Pineau des charentes


In July 2019: 2,030 out of 4,500 winegrowers signed up to join the first level of commitment. This number represents 39% of the winegrowers and 47% of the Cognac vineyard.

Measurement & evaluation

Each level of certification (level 1, level 2, HEV 3) is monitored by independent inspectors accredited by the French ministry of Agriculture. Winegrowers must remain fully compliant with the requirements of the certification scheme or they can lose it.



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