Friday, November 09, 2007

More Green Wine, Please!

One of the leading producers of fine wines sold in alternative packaging is the Boisset family in France. The French Rabbit in the Tetra pack first released in Ontario has become popular all over North America. Another recent release is the Yellow Jersey series and again Ontario was chosen for its release. The Yellow Jersey of course was made famous by the Tour de France.
The wines come in plastic bottles the size of a water bottle used on bikes. Enjoy your wine, then recycle it to your bike. How green can that be?

In a recent posting on Dr.Vino's wine blog,
Tyler Coleman discussed the "carbon footprint of wine"
This thoroughly researched paper was published as a working paper for the American Association of Wine Economists, and
may be viewed
here in pdf format. While there are some fascinating facts, lets put some of the figures in perspective. The production and distribution of wine represents 0.08 percent of global GHG emissions.
Meanwhile over at Good Grape, Jeff Lefevere informs us that manufacturing cement is really bad for GHG emisions. In fact, it accounts for 7% to 8%
of global greenhouse gas emissions. Now that is significant. And while we are at it how about the burning of those Indonesian peatlands? That contributes another 4%.
Lets go back for a moment to wine's contribution of 0.08 percent. We are told that is an equivalent to fuel combustion emissions of 1 million passenger vehicles over one year. The latest figures available from a DOT study done in 2004 shows there were 243,023,485 registered passenger vehicles in the US. The latest figures out of China show an increase of 10 to 20% annually in cars and that by 2010 that country will have 55 million vehicles on the road.

When you know that a Hummer only gets you 9 miles to a gallon (31 L/100 km), wine is obviously not a major culprit. Singling out wine drinkers and expecting them to drink their wines according to a green line seems a bit too much to ask. Especially since the
US is set to become the largest wine consuming nation on earth. Oh and yes the Chinese are also increasing their consumption of wine. How green do you think their vineyards will be with increased demand for the fruit of the vine? Now don't get me wrong , I am all for saving the environment.

And the wine industry should be concerned and involved. One of the leading voices on climate change and its effects on vineyards is Pancho Campo, the president of the Wine Academy of Spain. He has been preaching the message for years now. I just hope that wine drinkers everywhere will not have to carry an unfair proportion of taxes to fix the problem. By the way according to Tyler Coleman's report wine shipped in 1.5 liter bottles weigh 4kg less per case than 750 ml bottles. So as you can see, I am doing my bit with that Nebuchadnezzar. And oh yes, my car is a convertible and just think how much energy I am saving by not turning on the air conditioner.
So in the meantime I will think green while drinking my red.

No comments: