So far in our anti-emission mission, we’ve caught up with some of our old sustainable chums in South Africa and even made some new ones in the exciting region of Washington State, US of A.

We don’t want you all to think that sustainable viticulture is just a young person’s game though. So this week we’re going to take it to the old world, to a winery going back four generations in the iconic home of fizzy wine; Champagne.

Thierry Forget and his team at Forget Chemin are the Champagne makers leading the charge for sustainability in their region.

Due to the cold, damp climate of Champagne, any efforts to undertake a certified organic approach would be brave at best, as certain artificial elements are essential to maintain healthy grapes during the harsh winters. As we’re always saying though, organic doesn’t always mean sustainable, and sometimes sustainable means a lot more!

Forget Chemin are certified as Haute Valeur Environmentale (High Environmental Value) or HVE. This is the highest of three environmental certifications used throughout France for general agriculture. It makes a thorough assessment of each farm’s limitation of material and energy flows, safeguarding ecosystems, preserving biodiversity and landscapes.

Additionally, the CIVC (Interprofessional Committee for Champagne Wines) is working on the establishment of a certification “Sustainable viticulture in Champagne”. This approach is currently being validated and Forget Chemin are at the front of the queue to get involved when it does.

Out of this committee is ‘The Magistar Network’, a board that looks to promote rational protection and improve wine-making practices in order to protect the environment, where Thierry sits alongside other industry leaders such as Veuve Clicquot and Union Champagne.

It is no surprise that Champagne is looking to get sustainable. One study has found that, in twenty years, changes in climate have led to an increase of 17 g/l of sugar in their musts and a decrease in acidity too. Although this might sound good to the Prosecco crowd, it doesn’t bode well for the distinctive and world-renowned Champagne style that has been so strictly maintained for so many years.

And, as Thierry adds, “What will happen if global warming intensifies?”.

Click here to browse his decadent, yet non-decadent, Champagne now.