The strength of carbon emissions created during the wine fermentation process is “five times more concentrated than planes and cars” according to UC Davis professor, Roger Boulton. “We should be capturing carbon in wineries, so they become carbon neutral. A litre of juice produces 60 litres of carbon dioxide. As a winemaker, if you want to be a serious leader in sustainability then you have to do this – a good way is to turn it into chalk,” he said. Consumer pressure to protect our environmental future by manufacturing in a more environmentally friendly way is becoming widespread. Also speaking in New Zealand, Villa Maria Estate’s viticulturist, Jonathan Hamlet, derided the use of chemicals in the grape growing process. “The way we grow grapes today will not be acceptable in the future. We need to respect the land, learn to adapt, and stop using pesticides and herbicides. We live in a world of conscious, value driven consumers who want products that reflect their values.” It will be interesting to see how long it takes for these views to be echoed in the Northern Hemisphere.
Read more about possible changes to the cognac production process here, where we discuss the future need to accommodate climate change.