Everybody in the west is nervous about climate change. Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth and The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change in the UK have recently highlighted the dangers. The wine industry is still trying to understand what this means for them. However, there are some indisputable facts.
Weather patterns are changing, harvest dates are getting earlier each year and the rains are becoming more unpredictable. Furthermore, traditionally cooler regions like southern England are starting to produce better wines. Consumers around the world are trying to reduce their carbon footprints and there’s reason to believe that they will pay more attention to eco-friendly wines in the future.
This presents Indian wine producers who face daunting challenges in the international market with a unique opportunity. An opportunity to produce more environmentally friendly wines and market themselves as some of the most environmentally conscious wine-makers in the world. It will give consumers another reason to buy Indian wine. Here in India, we are less concerned about the environment but that too will change in time. But at the moment, the only major Indian wine maker that appears to be focusing on the environmental issues is Sula Vineyards. Maybe it is time for the others to follow.
One French vineyard that is taking the eco story seriously is Despagne Family vineyards in Bordeaux. According to Decanter, they have initiated a programme for biofuel and waste management in an attempt to create a carbon neutral vineyard, the first one in Bordeaux. The vineyard customers are increasingly asking for recycled or recyclable glass, lighter weights and other environmentally friendly initiatives.
Another wine-maker taking the environment seriously is Chateau Dorschwihr. They use recycled paper for all their wine labels.