The SW Summary: The EU’s dismal CAP decision, the wine industry’s gender pay gap, Fetzer Vineyards to be climate positive by 2030, Château Léoube launches sustainable rosé in a can, and counterfeit Super Tuscan wine

By Hanna Halmari

“Transition to ecological farming frozen”

The European Environmental Bureau’s (EEB) recent press release reports on the latest decision regarding the EU’s farm policy, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which saw agriculture ministers and the European Parliament vote “through hundreds of billions of Euros in public subsidies for intensive agriculture.”

The new agreement, dubbed the “stinking deal” by the EEB, will see “at least two thirds of the…CAP [going] to farmers with little or no environmental conditions and tens of billions…[going] to the largest one percent of landowners.” This marks a significant and disappointing shift from the ambitions set by the European Green Deal, which aims to make the EU climate neutral by 2050. 

Doctor Bérénice Dupeux, EEB senior agriculture policy officer, says, “Farming is one of the greatest forces trashing the planet…The CAP should be a major force for good, but is being powerfully misdirected. Whatever transition to ecological farming was promised in the EU Green Deal is now on hold.”

The press release also quotes Greta Thunberg, who rightly states how “even a child knows this isn’t how democracy is supposed to work,” referring to the lack of reporting around the decision taking place “in the midst of a climate and ecological emergency.”

Read more here.

The gender pay gap in the wine industry 

According to “estimates based on 2019 U.S. Census data…women who hold full-time, year-round jobs, on average, make 82 cents for every dollar paid to men.” So reports Cyril Penn in his article for Wine Business. What does the gender pay gap look like in the US wine industry? 

Apparently, not too bad, reports Penn. According to data from Western Management Group, “women who hold full-time, year-round jobs in the wine business make 96 cents for every dollar paid to men.” This is 6 cents higher than the average across all industries surveyed by the data. Penn quotes survey director Donna Bowman, who comments how “[the wine industry is] really doing a good job as an industry to make sure the pay is comparable.”

However, Penn notes how “pay varies considerably by position, as does the ratio of men to women that are employed in a given job category.” For example, the data set indicates that “there are 10 men for every” female vineyard manager. Nearly 80% of winery CEOs are male, with “women [making] roughly half what men make.” Only 3% of cellarmasters are women, but the women make slightly more than men. 

Clearly, there’s still lots of room for improvement. Read more here.

Fetzer Vineyards committed to be climate positive by 2030

Wine Industry Advisor shares Fetzer’s recent press release announcing the winery’s pledge to become climate positive by 2030. Having signed a “climate emergency declaration letter,” Fetzer Vineyards “agrees to accountable measurements tied to science-based targets” in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These are “aimed at limiting global average temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, and to becoming climate positive in its business operations by 2030.”

Fetzer Vineyards has a “long-standing commitment to climate-smart winegrowing.” Not only is it the largest B-Corporation certified winery in the world, but it has also received a “United Nations Momentum for Change award for climate action.”

The winery is committed to achieving its goal of becoming climate positive by 2030 and aims to do so through a three-step program. This involves: reducing its carbon footprint in all areas of operation; “increasing carbon drawdown through enhanced regenerative agriculture programs,” and; “offsetting any remaining unavoidable emissions.”

The press release quotes CEO of Fetzer Vineyards, Giancarlo Bianchetti, who shares how “ultimately, we must seek to maximize the interests of all stakeholders—shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers, and communities—in the context of a total commitment to doing what is required by the climate emergency.” 

Read more here.

Château Léoube releases the world’s first canned organic Côtes de Provence rosé

As shared in the press release on Wine Industry Advisor, Château Léoube has recently launched Le Petit Rosé by Léoube. Le Petit Rosé is made from “100% organic grapes” from the (AOC) Côtes de Provence region and comes in a single-serve can, making it the “world’s first organic Côtes de Provence rosé in a can.”

Eco-friendly canned beverages are increasingly popular among consumers, especially millennials.  Made from recycled aluminum, Le Petit Rosé is both “easy to transport and infinitely recyclable everywhere.” 

The press release quotes owner of Château Léoube Carole Bamford, who says, “Léoube’s sustainable and organic approach to everything stems from our recognizing the responsibility we have to protect and preserve the future of our planet.” 

Police raid counterfeit factory producing fake Super Tuscan wine in Italy

In his article for Decanter, Chris Mercer reports on the recent police raid on a counterfeit warehouse producing fake bottles of Sassicaia in Italy. Sassicaia is one of Italy’s “most celebrated wines” and is one of the first ‘Super Tuscan’ wines, or high quality wines “made from non-indigenous varieties or using blends not allowed under Tuscan appellation law.”

 According to the article, the raid saw Italian police seize “80,000 ‘counterfeit’ items…including labels, caps, bottles and wooden cases.” Collectively, these items would have “created an estimated 6,600 bottles of fake Sassicaia 2015.” Statements from the Italian financial police force ‘Guardia di Finanza’ (GdF) reveal that the wine in the bottles came from Sicily, the bottles from Turkey, and majority of the wrapping and packaging materials came from Bulgaria.

Mercer notes how according to the GdF, the total market value of 6,600 bottles of real Sassicaia 2015 amounts to almost €2m.

Whilst no arrests have yet been made, “eleven people suspected of involvement in the counterfeit operation [are] under investigation.”

Read more here.

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About the author

Hanna Halmari

Hanna Halmari is the editor at Sustainable Wine and the head of conferences at Innovation Forum. Hanna specialises in sustainability research and events across various industries. She holds an MSc in international development from Kings’s College London, where she developed a strong interest in political economy and post-communist transformation. Hanna speaks Finnish, Bulgarian and English. In her spare time she is a dedicated Radio Lollipop volunteer at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, enjoys travelling, and tasting new wines.