The SW Summary: On the importance of wine technology, premium rosé bottled in plastic, cleaning up misleading wine marketing, and more

By Hanna Halmari
The importance of wine technology

Writing for Wine-Searcher James Lawrence stresses the importance of human intervention in sustainable wine production. Contrary to the mainstream rhetoric of sustainability centered on a hands-off approach of “save the planet by trusting nature,” sustainable viticulture “lies in wine technology,” Lawrence argues. Agricultural technologies and genetic solutions of hybrid grape varieties are key to helping the wine industry adapt to the effects of climate change. Whilst encouraging biodiversity and switching to organic methods certainly come with a myriad of benefits, according to Lawrence, it is “the scientists in white coats who are destined to save us.” Read more here.

Premium rosé bottled in plastic

In the drinks business Patrick Schmitt reports on Moët Hennessy’s launch of a Côtes de Provence rosé packaged in “a flat bottle made from ‘prevented ocean plastic’ (POP).” The fully recyclable bottle is made by Packamama (formerly Garçon Wines) and weighs only 63 grams, almost 10 times lighter than a standard glass bottle. The rosé is from one of 18 Cru Classé estates in Provence, Château Galoupet, and its packaging is notably different from the standard glass bottles used for premium wines. Schmitt quotes Jessica Jumly, Château Galoupet’s managing director, who says, “we need to move away from the idea that eco-friendly is cheap.”

Read more about the wine and packaging here

The social side of sustainability

Kathleen Willcox discusses the growing attention paid to the social side of sustainability in wine production. In her article for VinePair, she relays how according to this survey of wine consumers, 70% of consumers “expect brands to address social issues” and 46% “consider a brand’s social mission before making a purchase.” From providing affordable housing to investing in educational programs, an increasing number of wineries around the globe understand the importance of investing in their workers. As Willcox points out, “better conditions and futures for workers not only creates a happier team,” but it also “often produces a better, more cost-effective product.”

Cleaning up misleading wine marketing

In a recent newsletter, the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau (TTB) issued a statement on the use of the word “clean” in alcohol labeling and marketing. It sent a very clear message that consumers should not interpret the word ‘clean’ as “meaning that the beverage is organic or has met other production standards set by TTB.” Whilst lacking a legal ruling or any specific enforcements, the TTB’s hard stance on the use of the term is clear: “[When] the term is used together with other language to create the misleading impression that consumption of the alcohol beverage will have health benefits, or that the health risks otherwise associated with alcohol consumption will be mitigated…We would consider those claims to be misleading health-related statements.”

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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.