A really good bottle of wine is often at the heart of a great meal out. But what makes wine ‘really good’ from an environmental perspective? Agriculture produces more climate change emissions than every train, plane, car and bus on earth and, depending on how it’s grown, produced, packaged and transported, wine-production is a part of this. It can also cause soil and water pollution, and biodiversity loss.
But increasingly, wine-producers are embracing sustainability. ‘Sustainable’ labelled wines use what many refer to as the ‘3e’s’ criteria across the whole process: environment, economics and equity (the latter is shorthand for some kind of concern for human fairness/social justice such as how the workers are treated). ‘Organic’ wines use no artificial pesticides or fertilizers.
‘Biodynamic’ wines are organic, but also focus on soil health and their lunar calendar. There are four kinds of days in this calendar: Root, Fruit, Flower and Leaf days. Root days are held to best for pruning, while fruit days are best for harvesting and so on. In sum, never pick grapes at the wrong time of the moon…
The key is to care. The more we request sustainable wine, the better. Our favourite advice? Drink a magnum – you’ll get more mouthfuls of wine per packaging! Why not. Look out for wines with organic/sustainable certifications on the label, and ask your favourite hotels to stock more of them.