Over the past couple of weeks (whilst I have been avoiding writing the next in the sustainability and wine series for these pages) there have been some interesting goings-on in the space of sustainability and wine.
One of my hobby-horses, or it would probably be better described as a hobby-sheep given the amount I bleat on about it, is wine packaging – the glass bottle. There is still a head in the sand (pun intended) mentality when it comes to the way many wine producers, and quite frankly the wine trade in general, view the container in which wine is stored. The view that heaviest is best is a throw back to a time when wine was an elitist aspiration, enjoyed by ruddy faced men wearing cravats and also quite possibly a time prior to this when more robust heavier bottles were actually favourable because they were made to be reused many times over.
I am often asked, “What does sustainability mean for wine?” Given that I work for a company called Aura Sustainability, as a specialist consultant to the wine industry, this is a fair enough question.
[Join TSSS for a live event on this subject with the owner of the Canadian Sustainable Vineyard, Southbrook - the event will be offerred via LIVESTREAM for those who are not able to attend in person. Click here to learn more.]
I see sustainability much as I do wine – as a journey not a destination. It’s about continual improvement; sustainability is much more about a cultural imperative, and less about a tangible definitive. It is also a very holistic term and the reason I find it so compelling is the symbiosis and balance (and often imbalance) between the environmental, economic and social elements that make up “sustainability”.
So, what does sustainability mean for wine? How does meeting the needs of today, without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their needs, affect the wine industry? I will attempt to deal with this question over a series of blogs. But to start with here is a bit of a background on the sustainability issues facing the wine industry.