The SW Summary: On new grape varieties, LBGTQIA+ issues in the wine industry, misconceptions around bottle weight, wind in the vineyard and more

By Hanna Halmari
French disease-resistant grape varieties now officially part of traditional European varieties

Four French fungal-resistant wine varieties, Artaban, Floreal, Vidoc and Voltis, are the first to be “affiliated to the Vitis vinifera L. botanical taxon by the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO)”, reports Vitisphere. The new grape varieties, developed by the French National Research Institute for Agriculture and the Environment (INRAE), are now “officially related to traditional European varieties.” Whether the cultivars will be eligible for use in AOC vineyards remains to be determined.

How to tackle LBGTQIA+ issues in the wine industry

Writing for VinePair Sophia Bennett takes a look at the LBGTQIA+ issues in the wine industry, which “still has a long way to go to be more welcoming and inclusive.” Bennett offers solutions as to how the industry can increase equity and inclusion, highlighting staff education and training as a crucial point of action. Read more here.

Misconceptions around bottle weight: Quantity does not equal quality

The largest proportion of wine’s carbon footprint stems from the emissions released during the production and transportation of wine bottles. Writing for FT Magazine Jancis Robinson discusses how despite the recent trend to reduce wine bottle weight, the “perceived correlation between weight and wine quality” is still largely prevalent. This misconception is not only harmful to the planet, but, as Robinson aptly points out, “the world’s most expensive wines tend to be packaged really quite modestly.” Read more here.

Pruning robots in the vineyard

In Wine Enthusiast Magazine Jacopo Mazzeo reports on the recent technological advancements in the vineyard and beyond. From remote-sensing technologies enabling precision agriculture to robots helping with weed removal and vine pruning, these technologies enable wine growers to optimize vineyard work and vine quality. Producers can also track and guarantee a wine’s quality and integrity “up to the final stages of the supply chain” through various packaging and shipping innovations. Find out more here

Know which way the wind blows

In Wine-Searcher Kathleen Willcox examines the influence of wind on wine. Willcox notes how not only does wind affect the taste and colour of wine, but it can reduce disease pressure and prevent mildew from taking hold. However, not all of the impacts are as positive. “Depending on the direction the winds are coming from, and the rate of their velocity, they can bring disease-busting, flavor-boosting power; or grey rot or bloom-shattering blasts.”

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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.