More than ever, the wine industry is implementing sustainable efforts to ensure the production of wine meets the standards of sustainability guidelines. Organizations like The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) and the International Federation of Wine and Spirits (FIVS) developed their own set of sustainability guidelines to spearhead this effort. However, sustainability can be explained in different ways when it comes to wine sustainability.
The most significant environmental issues that affect sustainability in the wine industry are land use, water use and management, energy use and management, chemical use, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and waste generation and management. The wine industry is unique in its sustainability efforts because the soil and chemical use can significantly impact a vineyard’s product.
The wine industry is already studying how different climates, soils, pesticides, and growing and fermenting practices can create vastly different flavor profiles in regions worldwide. Sustainability is a driving force for making sure those resources aren’t dwindling to anything.
Many studies are underway to compare environmental indicators associated with winemaking, including carbon print and vineyard management indicators. Some of these comparisons have exciting insights—for example, a fully organic vineyard.
Foxtrot’s video explains what sustainable wines are and talks about the importance of limiting our environmental impact by supporting winemakers that implement sustainable wine farming methods:
Sustainable Farming: This farming limits chemicals or products that can harm the environment where the grapes are grown for the long term.
Organic Farming: This type of farming takes three years to get certified. Vineyards only use natural products, nothing artificial (fertilizers, pesticides). They use methods like compost and canopy management.
Biodynamic Farming: This is a self-sustaining method of farming. Everything used in the vineyard comes from the vineyard (cattle that provide fertilizer, compost). These vineyards have more microbial life and healthier vines.
Check out Wine Folly’s guide to see if your wines are sustainable.
The primary economic factor in the wine industry sustainability stems from net income. However, the sum costs and revenues generated from implementing other environmental and social factors make this key area a little more complex.
Many businesses that market themselves or their products as sustainable often can be seen as more expensive. Think of how we view organic foods in the supermarket and the idea that eating organic will be more costly. Surprisingly, the MDPI review found that conventional vineyards (ones not focused on increasing sustainability) had higher costs than other vineyards implementing a range of sustainable practices.
The social element of wine industry sustainability is newer than the other two key areas. Still, it focuses on the impact a winemaking operation has on the culture and socio-economic development of territories and regions like working conditions, consumer safety, and health.
In his 2019 article from Decanter, Rupert Joy said, “The environmental impact of wine production is larger than you might think.” The future of the wine industry lies with sustainable farming practices, and it will be interesting to follow Vineyards worldwide as they implement sustainable guidelines.
Chile has the most sustainable wines due to its Sustainability Code for Wine. Over 75% of wine producers are certified and sustainable.
Wine More, Waste Less with Vinloq
Apart from the effort winemakers are making to be sustainable, have you wondered what you could do to help reduce wine waste in your community? Apart from buying sustainable wines, it is as simple as saving one drop of wine from being poured down the drain. An easy way to do this is by using Vinloq’s Slow Decanting™ and Wine Preservation System. Vinloq can keep your wine tasting fresh longer, so you won’t have to waste any of your favorite wines.