Evaluation of performance of winegrowing systems in the Bordeaux region and of agroecological transition scenarios

Francis Macary and Nawel Aouadi, February 2024

Study from the author of French 2023 book Pesticides in Viticulture: use, impacts and agroecological transition.

Analysis of 38 differently managed vineyards, assessed against 7 weighted criteria (the most important being economic).

Objective: to provide technical and practical benchmarks on the performance of agroecological systems, to assist with decision analysis aimed at reducing inputs.

3 transition scenarios (SCs) were identified:

  • SC1: optimising the integration of current conventional practices
  • SC2: agroecology allowing synthetic inputs that were not as highly toxic
  • SC3: agroecology plus organic, allowing copper sulphate (SC3)

For SC2 and SC3, herbicides, anti-botrytis fungicides, insecticides were replaced with agroecological practices in holistically designed systems. These included maintained plant cover that was rolled, hedges and trees planted, bird and bat boxes.

  • The highest performing scenarios, taking weighted criteria into account (including economic) were agroecology and agroecology with organic.
  • The best performing individual vineyard was already incorporating agroecology and organic practices.
  • The best integrated conventional vineyards were those that were also incorporating these practices but had decided not to certify to reserve the ability to use inputs for high disease pressure events.
  • The authors note that a minimum of 20ha is what they consider necessary to be able to exercise complete control