Le 23 Apr 2013 -
RESOLUTION ON STEEP-SLOPE VITICULTURE
PLENARY SESSION OF THE AREV – STUTTGART 23.04.2013
European wine-growing is also characterised by vines on land with very steep slopes in excess of 30%. This type of wine-growing has sculpted vine-growing landscapes that have left a very strong mark in terms of landscape and environment, while playing a fundamental role in soil preservation and water management. In these conditions, due to land drainage, the layout of the vineyards and the existing varieties, very particular wines are produced. The extremely onerous cost of this viticulture endangers this production environment, partly because of the growing competition that restricts the income margins of the wine-growers. The possible of abandonment of these areas planted with vines, and which have no alternative production, exposes the community to environmental pauperisation by making it pay the cost and damages linked to the abandonment and degradation of these zones. To this we have to add the socio-economic decline linked to the loss of these wine-growing landscapes that constitute a major tourist attraction that is important for these zones.
The wine-growers operating in these zones provide an inestimable service in terms of preventing natural phenomena, such as erosion and land sliding caused by unmanaged surface water, and also play an important role in defending and preserving the natural heritage in terms of wine-growing and landscape. The AREV therefore demands that the European institutions provide aid for these growers in order to counter the increase in costs, the difficulty and multiplicity of tasks, and in recognition of the social and environmental role played by steep-slope (in excess of 30%) wine-growing. It is therefore essential to plan for a specific legal system for this type of viticulture in order to stress its exceptional and remarkable character.
Given the characteristics of the environment of steep-slope viticulture i.e. defending and preserving landscape zones and preventing hydro-geological risks, it seems appropriate to observe that such a support system would find its natural place in the framework of aid for rural development (FEADER).