Armagnac and sustainable development
Armagnac is committed to a dynamic development network in order to ensure a product of quality and quantity to meet market needs, all the time taking into account the environmental and social aspects of this development.
From a technical point of view, the grape selection and the specific method of distillation in Armagnac are strong environmental advantages:
- Grape selection:
30% of the production of Armagnac is made with the Baco grape variety that is naturally resistant to mildew and odium. This advantage allows the wine growers to halve the phytosanitary products used on Baco in comparison to the sustainable steps taken with Ugni Blanc. It is a major advantage that strengthens the profession’s desire to maintain this variety that has been controversial because of its origins.
- Continuous Armagnac alambic
The environmental importance of using the continuous Armagnac alambic for 95% of the production has been highlighted by the work of the B.N.I.A. that carried out two studies on the sector’s carbon footprint and energy diagnosis for Armagnac production. These studies showed that the production of Armagnac, thanks to the continuous Armagnac alambic, consumed 4 to 5 times less propane gas than a double distillation alambic. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is of course proportional.
Additionally, 20 to 30% of Armagnac production is carried out by travelling alambics or small proprietors that use wood, a renewable energy, to fuel the alambics for distillation.
Lastly, this continuous alambic uses wine and not water to cool down the vapours, meaning that there is no wastage of water or any energy used to keep it cold or recycle it.
This work resulted in a technical guide « Mastering Energy for the Production of Armagnac » that particularly highlights the value of good distillation practices in order to improve the natural performance of the Armagnac process.
Beyond these environmental questions, the network’s collective approach is strengthened by the technical specialisation of the Armagnac vineyard within the vineyard of wines that is much larger, with the development of contractual agreements between the growers and the traders in order to ensure the durability of supply and the equitable sharing of the value or indeed by collective communication that advocates moderation to the consumers.