The "Francs de Pied" association for the preservation of unrooted vines is campaigning not only for recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for unimproved vines but also for a seal of quality on wine bottles. This was announced at the meeting in Monaco, which is under the patronage of Prince Albert. The association has its headquarters in the Oceanographic Institute of the Principality.
Around 200 winemakers attended the founding meeting, including Bernard Bouvier for Thibault Liger-Beliar, Antonio Capaldo for Feudi San Gregorio, Egon Müller for Egon Müller Scharzhof and Loic Pasquet for Liber Pater, who initiated the association. He estimates that there are 900 winegrowers in Europe who own plots of ungrafted vines. "The vine has been used to produce wine for at least 8,000 years," Pasquet said during the evening. It was only 130 years ago that people started using rootstock vines, changing the nature of Vitis vinifera. This association wants to preserve the heritage and spirit of old wine."
The planned membership fee of 100 euros per year is to finance DNA tests of the roots. These would show whether they are ungrafted Vitis vinifera vines or rootstock vines. The ungrafted plots would be certified and their wines given a seal: 'ungrafted vines' for all ungrafted vineyards and 'ungrafted vines: original heritage' if a grape variety is found beyond that in its original location. Pasquet stresses that the planting of ungrafted vines should be reserved exclusively for those sites that are not threatened by phylloxera. The label should be introduced in the course of 2023.
(al / Source: vitisphere; Photo: Institut Océanographique de Monaco, Michel Dagnino)