With COP26 underway, it’s a great time to take a look at some of the cool sustainability initiatives happening in the wine industry all over the world.
Regional Regulations: In the Médoc, producers are working to make sustainability and biodiversity practices mandatory in their AOC regulations which would involve practices like reducing pesticides, preserving biodiversity, and managing the region’s carbon footprint. Sustainable farming helps find the balance between the vine and its natural environment, allowing vines and grapes to better protect themselves naturally and thrive.
Green-focused wine lines: Villa Maria is one of the larger producers in New Zealand, and they just created a new sustainability-focused wine range called Earth Garden. In the vineyards for their Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, they plant wildflowers between the vine rows to attract beneficial insects, and cover crops like plantain and chicory to help the soil and vine roots retain water and reduce reliance on irrigation.
Packaging: Perrier-Jouet uses nature as inspiration so it’s not surprising that their Blancs de Blancs and Blason Rosé Champagnes come in environmentally-minded Eco boxes. The color and textures are inspired by the chalky subsoil of the vineyard, and they’re made from 100% natural fibers sourced from certified sustainable forests in Northern Europe as well as inks and glues without mineral oils which makes them easier to recycle. They’re also 30% lighter than previous versions which means fewer carbon emissions during transportation. Shipping cases also have a new eco-design made from recycled and grass paper.
Hyper-local food pairings: In Margaret River, Australia, Cullen Wines is the only winery that’s biodynamic and carbon positive. At the winery, they have a Biodynamic Tasting Plate featuring locally grown fare, 90% of which comes from their own gardens that you can tour to learn about biodynamic concepts.
Measurement: Participating wineries in the SOStain Sicilia Foundation only use energy-efficient winemaking processes, specific bottle weights, and environmentally-friendly suppliers throughout the production chain among other rules. They all aim to not just reduce but measure the impact they have on the land, and are required to prepare Sustainability Reports documenting their progress each year.
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