Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on February 13, 2009
Who knew making wine was such a large factor in global warming? Apparently those in the Bordeaux region did. And luckily for us they’re doing something about it.
Reading this reminded me of the time I realized that leaving home meant losing my allowance. Something I once took for granted was now being turned into something for which I had to become responsible. So of course, I wanted to learn more about this unexpected splash into my glass.
The good news is, the industry itself is taking action. The leader of the vine, the Bordeaux Wine Board (Conseil Interprofessionel des Vins de Bordeaux or CIVB), recently announced their six-month, $70,000.00 project, “Bilan Carbone®”, which assesses the greenhouse gas emissions created by human activity during the production of wine.
The test includes all emissions resulting from growing and tending vines, vine treatments, making wine, waste management, bottling (glass, labels, caps, boxes, etc.), storage, personnel, packaging, and delivery. They’re even taking into account their employees’ journeys from home to work as well as their personal vehicle types. Laurent Charlier of the CIVB, stated, “We know we produce 756 million bottles of wine per year and that 40 percent of that is exported. This study should give a clear idea of what different methods of production or shipment mean, in terms of environmental cost.”
Contrary to the assumption that wine is just for consumption, Bordeaux experts believe the fermented juice of the grape has evolved to a different type of green for those who buy it. This is because some wine speculators believe their investments to be safer than stock, partly because their assets are within their control (safe in their designer cellars).
Will this new development uncork their safety net, so to speak? More importantly, for those of us who aren’t number crunchers but who simply enjoy a glass of good wine, will the French find a way to insure the continuing quality of their wines while keeping the cost competitive, lucrative and environmentally responsible?
But on the upside, turning an already worthy wine into an eco-friendly one will only enhance the four main palatability attributes — the appearance, the nose (bouquet), the mouth (Acidity, alcohol, softness, and in reds – astringency) and the finish or aftertaste with an added level; not one of tongue or nose, but of peace of mind.