Climate change and biodiversity loss have highlighted the limits to today’s viticultural model and emphasised the need to evolve, says the Group. Its €20m ($23m) center in France will provide a ‘powerful new lever’ for understanding and anticipating the major changes and challenges for the sector in the years ahead.
Research will be concentrated on four main areas:
- Microbiology and biotechnology, analyzing micro-organisms and understand their impact on vineyards.
- Plant physiology in order to mitigate the impact of climate change on vines and grapes and address the challenges of global warming.
- Process engineering to optimize wine production and promote recyclability.
- Sensory analysis and formulation to study the sensorial profile of products at different production stages and pursue the quest for excellence at LVMH Wine & Spirits Maisons.
The facility builds on the sustainable and resilient viticulture initiatives announced in 2020 as part of the Living Soils Living Together program; and will also be a hub for sharing knowledge among LVMH Maisons and outside organizations.
Designed by architect Giovanni Pace, the 4,000 m2 center is located next to Moët Hennessy's Mont Aigu production site. The building was created with its environment in mind: embedded into a gently sloping earthen embankment to give natural insulation, with all materials used meeting strict standards in thermal performance and energy consumption.
The center is named after Robert-Jean de Vogüé, a former president and avant-garde thinker of Moët & Chandon. In the 1930s, Robert-Jean de Vogüé determined a "contrat collectif" (collective agreement) with employees, a precursor to the social status of employees in France today. In 1941, he helped create the CIVC Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne, a model which has since been replicated by other French wine regions.