You will find below the material available on Maison Ruinart's biodiversity project in Taissy: press release and HD visuals.
In the vineyard — labeled Haute Valeur Environemental et Viticulture Durable en Champagne since 2014 — the Maison continues to champion living soils. To date it has gone further still, by dedicating the entire 40 hectares of the historic Taissy vineyard to a biodiversity pilot project carried out with Reforest’Action. The initiative distinguishes itself by its size and global approach. It attests to the drive to develop this approach in the years to come and to share it more widely on the scale of the Champagne region.
« There is an urgent need to step up actions to nurture biodiversity and mitigate the climate change in the Champagne region. This project is one of the most accessible and effective solutions.»
Frédéric Dufour, President, Maison Ruinart
Working with Reforest’Action, Maison Ruinart wanted to establish an ambitious biodiversity pilot project in its Taissy vineyard, which will be carried out using vitiforestry — that is to say, by applying agroforestry techniques to the vineyard. It’s a comprehensive approach, which is facilitated by its proximity to the existing Fort de Montbré forest area.
The first step, launched in March 2021, was to plant outer hedges. Next, there will be intra-plot hedges and islets intended to divide the plot with a complete grid without putting excessive pressure on the current vineyard and its operations.
Between 2021 and 2022, nearly 14,000 trees and shrubs will be planted, spread across 4.4 km of hedges and 800 m2 of islets. Local wood species have been privileged to greatly improve biodiversity and to provide habitats for fauna useful for growing vines (ladybugs, lacewings, birds, bats). These include hornbeams, hawthorns, dogwoods, viburnams, pussy willows, rowans, European spindles, beeches, and lindens.
The project also helps restore, at the landscape level, the harmony and naturalness of the Champagne vineyard, with its segmentation and its hedges, as might have existed three generations ago.
Maison Ruinart has a remarkable plot of nearly 40 hectares in Taissy, in premier cru, a unit surface area that is rare in the Champagne region and makes an ideal setting for a comprehensive biodiversity project. The parcels are mainly planted with rows of Chardonnay (aged 6 to 18 years), but there is also Pinot Meunier (aged 19 to 23 years).
By initiating this approach to biodiversity in its own historic vineyard, the Maison reaffirms its drive to act for the excellence of the Champagne region.
« We want to regenerate the soils and bring back the original fauna and flora to this parcel through these vitiforestry practices, which allow us to re-establish ecological corridors within the historic Taissy vineyard.»
Frédéric Panaïotis, Cellar Master, Maison Ruinart