Iconic southern French winemaker Grard Bertrand spoke at the Climate Change Leadership: Solutions for the Wine Industry conference, Porto, Portugal, March 5-7, 2019.
On March 5-7, leaders of the global wine industry gathered in Porto, Portugal, to tackle the issue, focusing on practical and proven solutions, both short and long term, to help the wine industry mitigate the impacts of a changing climate. Chaired by former Vice President Al Gore, the conference featured 42 speakers from various sectors of the world’s wine industry.
Grard Bertrand, the iconic winemaker from the south of France was among those present. He spoke about Sustainability, Biodiversity, and Soil Management. Joining him were Olga Barbosa, Professor of Ecosystem Ecology in Chile and Heinrich Schloms, soil scientist for Vinpro in South Africa.
Bertrand is a global reference in Biodynamics practice, biodynamically farming 920 hectares (2350 acres) that cover all of his 15 estates in various appellations in the Languedoc. The decision to pursue biodynamic practices has been motivated by several factors, first and foremost, a conviction that it is the best form of agriculture for the health of the environment. The practice actively promotes biodiversity in soils and the surrounding ecosystem, plants, animals, insects, and microorganisms. Moreover, Grard Bertrand and his team are convinced that biodynamic practices is the best way to bring harmony between vines and their environment, allowing the creation of wines that can reveal the unique expression of the place from which they come, reinforcing the fundamental connection between product and earth, or wine, and its terroir.
Grard Bertrand shared his experiences and holistic vision for sustainable, environmentally positive viticulture and winemaking.
“In the process of implementing biodynamic farming, we have gained a unique perspective of our place within the natural world. Having learned from this experience, we are bringing in and teaching actual agricultural methods that are beneficial to the preservation of the environment and also let us adapt to and fight climate change. Our humble wish is to see a positive and tangible outcome in the next few years. We believe in it. Be the change!” says Bertrand.