As the world puts an increasing focus on sustainability, the wine industry hasn’t ignored this call. Between adopting carbon-neutral practices and putting an emphasis on solar energy, there are a few wineries that are stomping their way through in the industry this year.
What kind of innovation have we seen so far? Here are some of the best and brightest in the wine world hoping to make an impact on how we produce (and consume) our favorite beverage.
Treasury Wine Estates meets sustainability goals
In case you haven’t been drinking Australian wines lately, Aussie winemaker Treasury Wine Estates is making waves in the wine industry. The wine giant has set a high standard when it comes to sustainable wine production, as highlighted in its sustainability report for 2020.
Led by CEO Tim Ford, the company has announced a reduction in carbon emissions by 3.1%. It has also been able to reduce landfill waste by 96.2%, its water consumption 13.5%, and its energy usage by 9.7%.
“This year’s report reflects our ongoing commitment to sustainability, and we are pleased with the progress we are making and our ability to have a positive impact on the areas that matter to our consumers, customers, and communities,” explains Tim Ford.
This is no small victory for the giant winemaker. In the United States, solar energy still only constitutes 1.6% of the country’s total energy production. Comparatively, solar production in Australia accounted for more than 7% of the country’s total energy production back in 2019.
The company has also laid new plans for sustainability innovation in the coming years. By 2022, the winemaker aims to have 100% compostable or recyclable packaging. It also wants to achieve a closed-loop packaging solution with its glass and carton partners to reduce waste production by 2025.
Just Enough Wines in San Francisco
A quality news article about wine couldn’t exist without mentioning the United States’ very own California wine industry. California is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world. But when you’re not popping bottles with your favorite wine key, Just Enough Wines, a San Francisco-based winery, hopes that you’ll crack open a can.
Having little to no experience in the wine industry, Just Enough cofounder and San Fran resident Jessica Hershfield opened her winery in February of 2020. A risky move for anyone, the entrepreneur dove feet-first into the canned wine industry because of the aspects of sustainability associated with this type of production.
But is canned wine actually more sustainable? Both forms of production have their pros and cons but Fortune notes that the reusable quality of aluminum cans has almost no loss of quality per use. Additionally, their portable nature gives them widespread appeal to the masses.
This might have been the best avenue to traverse in the time of COVID-19 where alcohol sales have been on the rise.
Our love for wine stems back as far as we can remember. Now that we’re developing ways to give back to the planet — the very planet that gave us wine in the first place — we can sip easier knowing that we’re not causing as much damage. Just be careful when you do sip that wine, especially when winter comes. A tipsy slip and fall could lead to a 10-day recovery period for a sprained ankle. Just like we’re trying to better care for the planet, we need to care for ourselves, too. Drink responsibly and support winemakers that are truly trying to make a difference in the wine world.