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Wine and Sustainability

In this era of climate change, sustainability is an issue that could not be overlooked. Sustainability in wine is not a matter of taste. It goes beyond a green cultivation process that does not harm the environment, and involves wine-growing practices that are also socially sound and economically viable.

Perhaps you have been an advocate of organic and biodynamic wine and consider the issues of sustainability important as well. As a consumer who wish to support sustainable wine companies, what are some of the factors you should look out for?

Sustainable vineyards focus on the efficient use of resources such as water and energy, making sure there is no unnecessary wastage. The quality and health of the soil is maintained naturally and environmentally-friendly pest control methods are preferred. Local habitats and biodiversity are respected and preserved. Sustainable vineyards also place emphasis on adding value to the communities they are in, while ensuring employees are given fair wages and work in positive environments.

Companies might switch to using renewable energy to run the wineries and implement ways to reduce carbon emission when it comes to the transportation of their wine. To support these companies, you can also look for brands which make an effort in ensuring their packagings are eco-friendly, from labeling materials to lighter glass bottles that help to lower carbon emission.

The wine from sustainable wineries might cost more, but you know that the money goes towards sustainable practices that are beneficial for the environment and the community.

If you like to seek out sustainable wine brands through certification, then you can look out for the EMS (Environmental Management System) ISO 14001 and ISO 14004 standard. Wine regions that rely on this standard include Australia, Chile and Bordeaux in France.

In the United States, various states have their own certifications. For instance, in California, you can find the CCSW (Certified California Sustainable Vineyard and Winery) certification and the SIP (Sustainability in Practice) certification. In Oregon, Washington and Idaho, look out for the LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) certification.