Everything you need to know about the HVE label and sustainable viticulture


H.V.E…Three letters which seem to hide a secret. This acronym may seem obscure, however, this is a certification which highlights production processes with virtuous agricultural operations that minimize the pressure on the environment on a daily basis, whether in terms of soil, water or even of biodiversity. This is a valuable mention, provided for by the French Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, in the same way as “mountain product” or even “farm product”.

What is the HVE label?

Originally, this certification was initiated by the Grenelle de l'environnement in 2007. An ambitious global system of valorization and environmental recognition : “Environmental Certification of Agricultural Operations” was born. This regulation distinguishes 3 levels of environmental certification: level 1, level 2, then level 3.

High Environmental Value (HVE) corresponds to the highest level of the environmental certification system for agricultural operations. Thus, only level 3 allows the use and mention of the “High Environmental Value” (HVE) logo. Consumers can identify the farms and vineyards engaged in particularly environmentally friendly approaches. It is supported by the Ministries of Agriculture and Ecological Transition.

The main idea is to encourage the good environmental practices of the agricultural operators and wine producers in particular, and to encourage the protection of nature.

To ensure the proper implementation of the system, the Ministry of Agriculture has decided to create jointly with the HVE Label, a National Commission for Environmental Certification (CNCE), made up of representatives of the State, agricultural unions ( APCA), approved associations for environmental protection (FNE, WWF France, LPO), the agri-food industry, distribution and consumer organizations (ANIA, Coop France, FNA, CEPRAL, ADEIC, CLCV).

Château La Rose Perrière has embarked on this approach because we firmly believe that the vineyard must be integrated into an environment for the well-being of the vines, people and the site. HVE certified since 2018, our teams carry out daily work with the constant aim of reducing environmental impact, maintaining and developing biodiversity within and around the plots and promoting the development of vine auxiliaries, essential for pests regulation.

Vignes Lussac Saint Emilion

The HVE label: a dual objective

The High Environmental Value (HVE) label wishes to help the French people to consume better while promoting and promulgating good French agricultural practices.

Towards environmental protection

Aiming to be the promise of virtuous agriculture and viticulture, the HVE label integrates and develops biodiversity in the management of the farm while limiting as much as possible the use of inputs (phyto, fertilizer, energy, external foods, etc.). At Château La Rose Perrière, the High Environmental Value certification highlights our efforts in terms of biodiversity and maintaining the natural elements present on the farm. This approach is part of our wine production philosophy.

The certification thus guarantees consumers that the agricultural practices used throughout a vineyard preserve the natural ecosystem and allow the development of products that are more respectful of nature than in so-called conventional agriculture. It should be noted that HVE certification concerns the farming and not the products.


How to obtain the HVE label?

Officially launched on October 25, 2011 after a 4-year experimental phase, the HVE label offers 3 levels to advance step by step in certification:

  • Level 1: Compliance with essential environmental regulatory practices.
  • Level 2: The adoption of techniques with low environmental impact.
  • Level 3: measuring environmental performance thresholds in terms of biodiversity and low dependence on inputs. This level, more innovative, defines tools for measuring practices making it possible to quantify the agro-ecological performance of farms as a whole. Only this level 3 allows the use and mention of the “High Environmental Value” (HVE) logo. Château La Rose Perrière has obtained this level of certification.

Certification is a voluntary process by the operator, the winegrowers, who implement agricultural practices based in particular on the principles of agroecology. It’s about fostering nature’s resources and mechanisms.

The winemaker must obtain certification validated by organizations approved by the ministry. To do this, its farm or wine estate must demonstrate in practice compliance with environmental performance indicators covering 4 themes:

  • the preservation of biodiversity (insects, trees, hedges, grassy strips, flowers, etc.);
  • reduction of phytosanitary products;
  • fertilization management;
  • water resources management.

HVE certification is renewed every 3 years. High environmental value is subject to national regulations. To maintain this designation, vineyards are audited at least once every eighteen months by a certification authority approved by the Ministry of Agriculture. This audit ensures compliance with the environmental performance indicator thresholds throughout the validity period of the certificate.

fleurs et biodiversite au cœur des vignes du chateau la rose perriere

Organic and High Environmental Value: two complementary methods of valorization

Organic certification is another public system allowing the promotion of agricultural products, processed or not.  It attests to environmental excellence conditioned by demanding specifications defined at European regulatory level.

A dual certification: organic and HVE, makes it possible to promote different but complementary practices which all contribute to improving the impact on the environment.

At Château la Rose Perrière, we made this choice. HVE level 3 certified since 2018, we obtained the organic certification in July 2023. We look forward to presenting you the 2023 vintage with the “Certified Organic Agriculture” logo on our bottles.