The SW Summary: On high-end boxed wine from Tablas Creek, climate-friendly winemaking, sustainable viticulture and future-proofing in Bordeaux, and more

By Hanna Halmari
Changing the stigma: Tablas Creek leads on sustainable packaging

Writing for The Tablas Creek Blog, Jason Haas, partner and general manager at Tablas Creek, announces that the winery will be selling 100 cases of its 2021 Patelin de Tablas Rosé in 300 3-liter bag-in-box packages. This is an important step forward in helping break down the widespread stigma that high-end wine can’t come in a box. The 3L bag-in-box is “by far the most effective package for reducing wine’s carbon footprint,” with an 84% lower footprint compared to the same amount of wine in standard 750ml glass bottles. Bag-in-box wine also comes with a whole host of other advantages, from longer preservation to saved storage space and easier portability. Find out more here.

Towards climate-friendly winemaking 

Writing for SevenFifty Daily, Betsy Andrews explores the numerous ways in which winemakers around the world are responding to the increasing effects of climate change. As producers examine their own impact on the environment, many are taking significant steps to reduce their carbon footprint. These include switching to renewable energy, reducing bottle weight, increasing biodiversity, adopting organic and regenerative agricultural practices, and even finding ways to sequester carbon from the atmosphere through practices such as reforestation.

The wine industry’s climate action is further driven by eco-conscious consumers demanding more sustainable wine, as well as the numerous “new organizations and certifications that support and reward carbon reduction.” Andrews highlights the work of the International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) in this space, with its ambitious goals of halving emissions by 2030 and reaching zero emissions by 2050. On the topic of regenerative agriculture, Andrews notes the work of the Regenerative Organic Alliance with its Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) which is based on the pillars of organics, animal welfare, and social fairness. 

Andrews emphasizes the economic benefits of “using less water [and] being more fire resistant,” as well as the “improved quality and increased resilience” enjoyed by sustainable wineries. However, as she points out, ultimately “the bottom line isn’t financial anymore; it’s existential.”

Read more here.

Sustainable viticulture in Bordeaux: A six-part series by Wendy Narby

In Insider Tasting Wendy Narby has launched a six-part series of blog posts exploring sustainable viticulture in Bordeaux. The first post, covering the basics of “the who, why, what, when and how of sustainable Bordeaux” can be found here. Narby’s second and most recent post digs deeper into some of the key sustainability labels and certifications used in Bordeaux.

She begins with a brief overview of the numerous initiatives employed to reduce the use of chemical inputs. These include using weather stations for precision agriculture, increasing biodiversity through cover crops, and using sexual confusion in the vineyard, or “pheromones that confuse vine moths.” Narby then provides a detailed account of three leading sustainability certifications:

  • ISO 14001 by the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO)
  • Haute Valeur Environnementale (HVE) powered by the French government
  • And Terra Vitis, an independent federation of French winegrowers

Read about each certification here.

Bordeaux Cultivons Demain: “Future-proofing Bordeaux” 

In The Buyer Mike Turner discusses Bordeaux’s new collective approach to implement a contextual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy across the region. “Open to all Bordeaux wine operatives,” Bordeaux Cultivons Demain aims to “support, help structure and then promote” CSR values specific to Bordeaux and the wine industry. The certification label is based on four pillars:

  • “Ensuring the livelihood of the Bordeaux region
  • Making the wine sector attractive to employees
  • Cultivating dialogue and transparency with stakeholders and consumers
  • Preserving the environment”

Whilst all of the above are certainly crucial to “future-proofing Bordeaux,” Turner stresses the importance of social responsibility. As the largest employer in the Gironde, the wine industry must be continue to be “an attractive proposition to a future workforce.” As Xavier Busso of Château De La Riviere states, “it’s about more than simply a salary.”

Read more here.

New goals for continuous improvement: The Sustainable Prosecco DOC Project

Glass of Bubbly reports on the Prosecco DOC Consortium’s furthered commitments to becoming a sustainable denomination. The Sustainable Prosecco DOC Project is based on three pillars – environmental, social and economic, and aims to transform the region’s entire production chain. The Consortium will introduce a “management system for sustainability along the supply chain based on the Equalitas Standard,” built from learnings from various sustainability initiatives throughout the region. With a focus on in depth data collection and analysis, the Consortium will be able to “scientifically identify” the positive environmental, social and economic impacts to “select the best practices to be added to the system.” 

Read more about the Consortium’s projects and plans 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.