Growers who choose not to use chemicals to control weeds underneath the vines ‘work’ the soil mechanically or occasionally use a horse. This picture shows a healthy vineyard that has had the soil worked this week. A tractor passes through the vineyard with a mini-plough that upturns the soil underneath the vines. This suffocates the weeds and avoids the use of glyphosate.
Sadly, as I look around the vineyards there are few people working like this. The Touraine appellations are still allowed to blanket spray the entire vineyard with chemicals if they desire. It’s obviously quicker and cheaper to use chemicals but is much harder on the environment and the soil.
This blanket spraying is no longer allowed in the Anjou-Saumur appellations since January 2019.