By SUZANNE MUSTACICH
SAINT-ÉMILION, France — Vignerons on Bordeaux’s Right Bank try to replace pesticides with natural predators.
St.-Emilion winegrowers have recently launched an ambitious, community-based biodiversity project to create miles of interconnected « green » corridors throughout the 20,000-acre region of Bordeaux in a bid for sustainability.
The corridors are part of the Functional Landscape and Biodiversity Initiative (« Paysage Fonctionnel et Biodiversité…*), the first of its kind in France, and are expected to allow spiders, ladybugs and other natural predators of vine pests to move freely between the 1,100 wine estates, vanquishing mites, grape berry moths and green leaf hoppers, and reducing the vintners’ need for chemicals. Various flowers and plants that attract these predators will also be planted. Strategically located hedges will cut fertilizer and pesticide run-off and soil erosion.