Thursday, June 2, 2011
The greening of the wine business - good news or bad news?
It was bound to happen given the growing interest in natural wine but there’s been a lot of hype lately about wine companies going green. Often it’s pretty hard to see just what this amounts to.
The other day I tasted two wines under the ‘Nature du Luberon’ label (above) which comes with a leafy logo that suggests at least an organic wine. One admittedly is in conversion but the other just says “Nestled in the natural park of the Luberon the vineyards benefit from the surrounding ecosystems.” What on earth does that mean?
Asda was showing a wine called ‘Greener Planet’ at its tasting made with recyclable PET bottles that are supposed to cut the cost of transporting wine by 61%.
And Chile’s Vina Ventisquero recently took out full page advertisements for Yali, a wine brand ‘inspired by Chile’s Yali Wetlands 'which invites 'consumers to reaffirm their awareness of nature by showing a fundamental respect for the environment.'
Even Bordeaux first growths have to trumpet their ecological credentials these days.
And the hugely influential UC Davis has just opened a multi-million dollar green winery.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for conserving the environment and making better use of the earth’s scarce resources but I do wonder how deep this greening of the wine business goes. I may have missed it but none of the producers appears to minimise their use of chemicals in the vineyards or winemaking process.
Hopefully it will lead to more wines being made without chemical intervention at a more affordable price. But I do worry that customers may be given the impression these wines are more wholesome and, dare I say, natural than they are.
What do you think? Do you welcome this emphasis on sustainability or is it a marketing gimmick?