Saint-Émilion Grand Cru estate Château Lassègue has announced that the 36-hectare estate has been granted level 3 HVE (High Environmental Value) certification. The accreditation is awarded by the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food to agricultural properties that promote and guarantee environmentally friendly farming practices.
“We decided to apply for the certification as it is an important recognition of the sustainability protocols that have been in practice at the estate for years,” commented Nicolas Seillan, seventh generation vigneron and winemaker for Château Lassègue. “Farming in a sustainable manner protects our old vines, the community that surrounds Château Lassègue, and the land for future generations.”
Developed in 2001, the three-tiered system encourages farms and vineyards to focus on four key areas: increasing biodiversity, decreasing the negative impact of their plant protection strategy (measures to control diseases by reducing the use of pesticides and fungicides), managing fertilizer inputs, and improving water management.
Level 3 is the most stringent tier of the voluntary certification process. The “High Environmental Value” level is based on performance indicators that are verified by an external auditing process across the four key areas. At Lassègue the subjects are addressed through several different protocols:
- Hedge plantings alongside a stream that runs through the property to protect against erosion and contamination; Château Lassègue is part of a local effort to improve the creek ecosystem
- Reintroduction native species of trees and bushes with the intent to maintain and improve the native ecosystem of the area
- Overall tree maintenance
Plant Protection Strategy
- Minimize vine treatments; early on Chateau Lassègue chose very light products and was able to create a very efficient program of treatments to do the minimum throughout the growing cycle while also avoiding compacting the soil
- No herbicides
Managed Fertilizer Use
- Chateau Lassègue includes a program of natural fertilizer from soil cultivation such as plowing under the rows to return natural nitrogen to the soil from the grasses
- Cover crops are maintained between the rows
Water Resource Management
- The estate employs a water treatment program of wastewater from cellar cleaning.
Beginning with Château Lassègue’s 2020 vintage, their wines will carry the HVE seal on each bottle. Currently the estate produces two wines: Lassègue—the powerful and elegant flagship wine of Château Lassègue, and Les Cadrans de Lassègue—a refined second label.
For more information, head over to Château Lassègue’s official website.
In February, Château Lassègue announced that seventh-generation Vigneron Nicolas Seillan has been named Winemaker of the Estate.