In 2007, the professional organisation of independent wine-growers launched its own charter to identify its members’ very best wines. This year, 17 wines passed muster in a blind tasting by a selection of wine-growers and hand-picked guests.
One of the major challenges facing wine-growers is how to get the best out of their finest terroirs. Having achieved this, they must then promote their products. Charta Luxembourg, run solely by the organisation of independent winegrowers, was set up for this very purpose.
Its requirements are strict, covering the entire production process from the selection of terroirs to vine training and wine-making. Wines approved by the charter can only be produced from grapes grown in sloping or terraced vineyards. Wine-growers are only permitted to enrich their soil with organic fertiliser and their yield is limited to 60 hectolitres per hectare. Finally, chaptalisation (adding sugar) is prohibited. All these requirements are checked several times a year by a committee.
Each wine must then be approved by the wine-growers themselves (occasionally joined by expert guests) sitting on a committee that decides whether or not the wine deserves the prestigious label. It must satisfy at least 80% of the tasters in order to be selected. Sensory and analytical testing is performed blind with the wines’ labels hidden.
This year, the independent winegrowers’ committee included 12 wine-growers who tasted 21 wines. In the end, 17 were selected. All these wines are from the 2017 vintage, with the exception of the crémants produced from earlier harvests.
Jean Cao, consultant oenologist to the independent winegrowers, gives us his thoughts.