the EG affair…


cite: http://blogreignac.blogspot.frI try not to follow crowds when writing about ‘stuff’, but I felt that I should make a few notes on this subject here, and not just because the story is now in the news mainstream. I’ve been asked by email and in other fora for my opinion on what’s happening in the Emmanuel Giboulot affair. Mainly I’m writing this, because I was a little surprised to see the content of my emails published online – not because I don’t stand behind what I said, but because the person that asked the question never mentioned that they would be published.

So, adding to what I wrote last year, and whatever else might be attributed to me, here’s what I published elsewhere last week:

People should also note that nobody knows where this (FD) will end-up. Has it the potential to be Phylloxera 2.0? or an unwanted cost equivalent to replacing 5-10% of the vines every year? – nobody can answer…

Re Emmanuel Giboulot, as Keith notes, he chose to do publicly what a significant number of people did privately, so in-effect chose his own fate. His actions are of-course being hijacked by ‘über-organic factions’ aligned against anything ‘pesticide’ and there is even a march about this in Paris this weekend I think.

Only to note, that the pesticide in question, is fully allowed by Organic / Bio certification bodies (I’m not sure about Biodynamic as I get different answers from different people), and let’s not forget, 130 years ago many refused to treat their vines (to be clear, it wouldn’t have worked anyway!) against phylloxera, saying ‘my vines don’t have it..’ Weren’t those exactly EG’s words?

Always at least two sides to each discussion…

So, there are never any easy answers, and please, let’s not be mealy-mouthed about this, we are talking about a pesticide – something designed to kill a pest – it’s not simply ‘a treatment’ – so it is important that this isn’t being taken lightly!

Despite the quality of both the wines and the man in question – a man who will face the courts at 13:30 hrs today – and also in spite of online petitions in support of him that now approach half a million ‘signatures’, I have to say that one person, or better said, one ideology, shouldn’t be allowed to jeopardise the livelihood and culture of a whole region.

What price UNESCO if there are no vines in 15 years?

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 2 responses to “the EG affair…”

  1. jonwyand24th February 2014 at 9:35 amPermalinkReply

    Bill, congratulations on your response. I received a newsletter from Domaine J-M Brocard looking for signatures to the petition on Friday around 1.30pm UK time and by 5pm another email warning me to be careful:
    “Nous venons de vous envoyer un lien concernant une pétition de soutien par sympathie pour Emmanuel Giboulot, viticulteur bio bourguignon.

    Ce sujet, qui nous est cher, est en passe d’être récupéré par des associations dont nous ne connaissons pas les desseins finaux.

    Hors nous ne voulons pas être caution d’une telle entreprise.

    En conséquence nous vous demandons de ne pas tenir compte de ce précédent mail.”

    This came after I had posted the link on my Corton blog …
    Today I received an email from Pierre Cornu in Ladoix-Serrigny (president of the Ladoix growers but perhaps not commenting in that capacity, he hardly had the time to consult them, but a wise and sensible man nonetheless, who I quote here.

    “Dear Jon,
    You will find below the answer which I send to the people asking me for my opinion(notice) on Giboulot. You will have my opinion if the translation is correct!

    This message includes numerous slanders, you should not be allowed indoctrinate by people, who on the pretext of defending(forbidding) the nature, treat(manipulate) greenhorns by unfounded ideas, based only on an ideal. It is necessary to know that the golden flavescence is a disease in the fatal consequences for the vineyard(vine). She(it) is present in numerous vineyards of the South of France, which use for a long time the only known way(means) of fight(wrestling) today, which the prefect made apply in golden official list in 2013.
    Emmanuel Giboulot, and his organic colleagues claim to be able to be more competent on this subject, that all the specialized researchers!
    Let us stop(arrest) with all these extremist trends(tendencies) which, to bring movements ” revolutionary, bring no concrete solutions.
    Seen the content of the message, I was anxious to give you the point of view of a reasoned wine grower, close to the environment and the pragmatics, whom I am.”

    Both sides need to be heard. I passed the petition on to inform people and let them make a decision, but as you say Bill, EG now has over 400,000 signatures. No doubt most of them are not the winegrowers who will be affected by his actions, but are perhaps people, like me, who are guilty of uninformed judgements…
    Its time we gave a voice to the winemakers who know more than we do and have so much to lose,

  2. Roelof Ligtmans26th February 2014 at 6:59 amPermalinkReply

    Being an organice wine grower myself, my point of view is that Emmanuel Giboulot was wrong in not treating his vines. His basic premise is: the disease is not here, so why should I treat my vines? Well, he could not know that the disease was not present, as nobody had been out looking for it. In fact, when vineyards all over Burgundy were inspected, early september last year, the disease was indeed found quite close to EG’s vines, in the next village (and the next, and the next, etc.). This is the kind of disease that you have to take seriously, as it is able to kill a vineyard in 3 years if you let it go out of hand. So, while I think EG’s decision was not the right one, I’m glad that his punishment will probably be very light (€ 500 fine).

    Personally, I did spray my vines, as FD had already been found about 2km away in 2012. And indeed, it’s presence was proved in Mercurey in 2013.

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