Rob Symington on Climate Change: “We Have To Be Activists”

At an online conference this week, members of the International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) spoke of the need to “be activists” in order to bring about real change in the fight against carbon emissions.

Founded last year by Familia Torres and Jackson Family Wines, the IWCA is a small but growing group of wineries dedicated to ‘de-carbonizing’ the wine industry and combatting the effects of climate change.

Crucially, the group requires its members to commit to actively lowering its carbon emissions. The requirements upon joining are:

A complete end-to-end (through Scopes 1-3) Greenhouse Gas emissions inventory (which must be completed six months after joining).

At least 20% of power generated through on-site renewable energy.

Demonstrate a reduction of at least 25% in CO2 emissions for every litre of wine produced after a baseline of emissions has been established.

A commitment to reducing total emissions by 50% by 2030 and ‘climate positive’ by 2050.

Speaking at the conference, Familia Torres’ sustainability manager, Josep-Maria Ribas, explained that all the objectives are, “science based”, to allow members to work towards producing real results in how their companies and wineries operate.

Also speaking was Rob Symington of Symington Family Estates, one of the first wineries to sign up to the IWCA. He said that the big challenge when it came to meaningful change in environmental initiatives was to “avoid greenwashing”.

Not wanting to be criticized and being seen to do something had been the “usual approach” in this area for many years and many sceptics are all too eager to pounce on projects – even good ones – that lack some sort of robustness to their processes.

This is why as well as setting its own goals, Symington said that the family-run group had been, “seeking external frameworks where we’re being held accountable to things we said we would do and that’s the most effective way to avoid falling into the trap of greenwashing”.

And while Symington Family Estates, alongside Torres, Jackson and other members, are able to take control of certain emission hotspots in the vineyards and winery more directly – producing their own energy, cutting energy use, adapting their vineyards to the changing climate, etc – there’s also a strong case for ‘activism’.

As Symington continued: “Over 85% of our emissions are beyond our control – they’re produced by the brandy makers we buy spirit from, glassmakers and transportation and so on,” but, he continued, customers at all points are able to “act as lobbyists to change those emissions from our partners”, and “put positive pressure throughout the chain”.

He added that it sometimes seemed at odd for very traditional wineries to act like activists but countered it was also important to, “stick your neck out and sign up to things like the IWCA. We joined to hold our feet to the fire and to justify the steps we need to take”.

Having goals and being held accountable is vital if not only the structural systems are going to change but the culture behind them that enables those structural systems are going to change too.

But given the challenges and threat posed to vineyards and longstanding family companies by climate change, there is also a (perfectly) legitimate form of “enlightened self-interest” in being a champion for the cause, as Symington admitted.

The IWCA is currently comprised of nine members across the Americas, Europe and Antipodes, with another two apparently close to signing up. Membership is not restricted by size and Ribas added it was currently compiling an emissions calculator that would help smaller wineries be able to join and identify where to focus their efforts to meet the entry requirements without the need to hire expensive consultants.

IWCA website – https://www.iwcawine.org/

Sources:  Drinks Business and IWCA

Château Montrose Bicentenary Case Sells at Auction

To mark the launch of the Bicentenary case, Château Montrose entrusted the sale of case No. 1/200, to Hart Davis Hart Wine’s online “Finest & Rarest Wine Auction”. The auction took place on Saturday 24 October, with bidding closing at $24,000. The winning bidder, a collector from United States, will also be enjoying a memorable experience during a private stay at Château Montrose.

The bicentenary custom-designed case is a true “cabinet of curiosities” with a limited edition of 200 to celebrate our 200th anniversary. Inside are three numbered bottles in a rare 2-liter format: The 2014, 2016, and of course the 2015 bicentenary vintage, reflecting three rich and varied expressions of the Montrose terroir.  The case encompasses a cigar box and games compartment, which offers two decks of cards, two sets of dice, a set of dominoes, backgammon,150 casino chips as well as a humidifier and hygrometer.

The remaining 199 Château Montrose Bicentenary Cases will be available upon request : http://www.chateau-montrose.com/en/chateau-montrose-bicentenary-case-an-iconic-aquisition/

#wineauction #finewine #wine #winelovers #winecollectors #wineinvestors #winetasting #fineandrare #chateaumontrose #montrose #grandvin #grandcru #medoc #saintestephe #bordeaux #instawine #tradition #history #wineaddict #drinkbordeaux #redwine #frenchwine #secondgrowth #drinksbusiness #sommelier

Women in Wine Talks with Chile and Argentina [October 20, 2020] Another Successful Sold Out Event!

I would like to thank our Women of Wine Talks panel members today who hail from Chile and Argentina. Each discussed their wineries, terroir, and other conditions that make their wines unique. During the last 15 minutes of the talk, there was a Q and A discussion period on sustainability, vineyards 1,000 meters above sea level, the wide variety of climates and valleys, in particular a cold climate valley in Chile, and the wine varieties that are emerging.

 Panel Members:

CHILE

Viviana Navarrete – Chief Winemaker of Viña Leyda

Viña Leyda was a pioneer in the development of cold climate coastal vineyards in Chile. Located just 4km from the sea, the marine influence sustains temperatures around 13°C. This allows the grapes to ripen very slowly, enhancing and improving its flavors, aromas and natural acidity, whilst providing a saline character to the wines. As such, Viña Leyda requested the creation of a new ” Leyda Valley” Appellation of Origin, which became official in 2002 giving rise to a new style of wine.  The Pinot Noirs and Sauvignon Blancs by Viña Leyda enjoy great international prestige.

ARGENTINA

Susana Balbo  Owner & Chief Winemaker of Susana Balbo Winery

After more than 30 years offering her talent to the service of national and international wineries, in 1999 Susana Balbo decided to make her dream come true, to have her own winery. It was at this point in time that she started the construction of Susana Balbo Wines, which is in the heart of Lujan de Cuyo in Mendoza.

Also, after over 10 years of sustained growth in the international wine trade, another dream of Susana´s came true: her children, José, a winemaker from UC Davis University (California) and Ana, Business Administration major from San Andrés University, joined the Susana Balbo Wines team.

Susana and her team comply with the highest international quality standards in all their processes, including Sustainability and Corporate Social responsibility platforms. Their philosophy is to produce terroir-driven wines to express the unique characteristics of each varietal. Susana Balbo Wines are amongst the most recognized and awarded wines in Argentina.

Andrea Ferreyra, Chief Winemaker Finca La Celia

A Pioneer is someone that leaves behind a unique legacy. Eugenio Bustos was one of them. When he arrived to Uco Valley, Argentina, more than 100 years ago, he sold his best horses to purchase land and planted a varietal grape from France, giving birth to Finca La Celia, named after his daughter. La Celia is the oldest winery in the Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina. This vineyard was the first one to plant Malbec in the region, which currently is the most iconic varietal from Argentina. La Celia has 400 hectares planted and ever since its first production, Finca La Celia has never stopped innovating. Their committed team of professionals, pursue their dream of producing excellent wines recognized worldwide, pushing the envelope always a little bit further, constantly innovating.

This group of formidable women leaders have been and are committed to the development of wine in their countries and internationally.

They have demonstrated through their life and work, and their leadership in their fields, that women make a difference. They have become incredible role models for their countrywomen and women internationally — and serve as an inspiration across countries, regions, and generations.

Thank you!

Twelve Wine Consumer Trends in the Covid-19 Era

The Wine Intelligence report entitled “Wine Consumer Trends in the Covid-19 Era” was published last week and highlights a mini-boom for wine since the pandemic struck, yet it also warns of dark economic clouds on the horizon.

While key consumption markets have been turning more often to wine in the past six months, spurred by new ‘lockdown’ occasions and more drinking outside of mealtimes, there are concerns about the sustainability of this growth, given the deteriorating economic environment and possible pressure on household finances in the coming months, according to Wine Intelligence.

As part of the report, which collected data from wine drinkers in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Sweden, the UK and the US, the research agency has identified 12 key consumer trends in the Covid-19 era, which we have reproduced below.

  1. Growth in wine consumption frequency with the shift to at-home occasions more than compensating for the loss of on-premise occasions.
  2. Heartland wine drinkers driving growth with growth in wine coming from women, Gen X and those already connected with wine.
  3. Non-food occasions driving wine growth bringing opportunity for wine to migrate to occasions where other beverages have been more dominant in the past.
  4. Slow recovery in average bottle spend on wine in the off-premise but remains below pre-pandemic levels in most markets.
  5. E-commerce for wine comes of age and it is rapidly becoming a new and habitual way of shopping for wine.
  6. Shift to wines seen as a safe choice and ‘localism’ with mainstream and local wine brands winning.
  7. Consumers increasingly cautious in their lifestyles with confident ‘Hedonist’ segment shrinking as 2020 progresses, and an increasing proportion of ‘Halters and Reducers’.
  8. Large scale events off the agenda with consumers seeking to avoid crowds, even when restrictions are lifted and the current dangers of the pandemic have passed.
  9. Travel plans remain on hold with overseas and international travel not on the agenda for wine drinkers, even when travel restrictions are lifted.
  10. Consumers becoming more distant from the on-premise, shifting socializing patterns.
  11. Treat-seeking behavior losing momentum as consumer spending becoming more conservative.
  12. US wine market returns to growth as wine consumption frequency grew strongly in the US, driven by Millennials.

Source: Wine Intelligence Wine Consumer Trends in the Covid-19 Era, published October 2020

 

Pouilly-Fuissé gets 22 premier cru vineyards

The French National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO) has officially recognized 22 premier cru ‘climats’ within the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation.

The AOP Pouilly-Fuissé will become the first appellation within Burgundy’s Mâconnais sub-region to benefit from premier cru vineyards.

The 22 new premier crus account for a total of 194ha of land planted to vine, corresponding to circa 24% of Pouilly-Fuissé’s total vineyard area (800ha), spread over the four communes of the appellation: Chaintré, Fuissé, Solutré-Pouilly and Vergisson.

A proposal for the recognition of these climats as premier crus was first submitted to the INAO 10 years ago. Since then, the INAO has been working in partnership with the Organization for the Defense and Management (ODG) of the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation to assess the worthiness of these ‘terroirs’.

The 22 new premier crus, commune by commune

Chaintré:

  • Le Clos de Monsieur Noly
  • Les Chevrières
  • Aux Quarts
  • Le Clos Reyssier

Fuissé:

  • Le Clos
  • Les Brulés
  • Les Ménétrières
  • Les Reisses
  • Les Vignes Blanches
  • Les Perrières
  • Vers Cras

Solutré-Pouilly:

  • La Frérie
  • Le Clos de Solutré
  • Au Vignerais
  • En Servy
  • Aux Bouthières
  • Aux Chailloux
  • Pouilly
  • Vers Cras

Vergisson:

  • Les Crays
  • La Maréchaude
  • Sur la Roche
  • En France

#wine #bourgogne #burgundy #pouillyfuisse #Mâconnais