Viniflhor has announced the final figures for the new replantation in advance scheme for Cognac growers, introduced last October.

In response to the increased demand for Cognac, a change in regulations will allow growers in the region to replant 837 hectares of new vines this year, the trade body confirmed today (9 January). Applications are due for final authorisation in the coming months.

The ruling allows replanting of young vines - mainly ugni blanc, which take three years to reach productive levels - in new plots before pulling up old ones.

The move will save time and boost production capacity, but will not increase productive vine numbers or the danger of over production - a problem 10 to 15 years ago when 15,000 hectares of vines were pulled up.

"We need grapes for distillation, so if you have land you can start planting, but we don't want to plant too much," said Jérôme Durand of the Cognac Board (Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac).

Replanting in advance is costly, about EUR15,000 - EUR20,000 per hectare, but 820 applications were filed by Cognac growers, in place of the one or two normally filed by wine growers.