Sustainable Wine Guide

Sustainable Wine Guide

Making wine in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way has become a priority for the world’s producers. Wine has been made for thousands of years and today’s crop of winemakers is determined to make wine sustainably so that it can be enjoyed by generations to come. But what is sustainable wine? Are organic, biodynamic wines and natural wines sustainably made? And what does a sustainable wine future look like? Perfect Cellar’s sustainable wine guide reveals all…

Sustainable Wine


What is sustainable wine?

As you may have guessed, sustainable wines are ones that are made with a view to minimising their impact on the environment and reducing their carbon footprint. Unlike organic wine production, there isn’t a fixed set of rules regarding sustainable winemaking. That said sustainable wineries often undertake practices such as:

  • Reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides
  • Capturing, storing and recycling rainwater rather than taking it from mains water, ground water reserves or rivers
  • Installing solar panels or wind turbines for electricity
  • Reducing the amount of mechanised machinery such as pumps and using gravity to move juice and wine around the winery
  • Reducing the weight of their bottles to cut transport emissions
  • Building subterranean cellars to reduce the need for cooling systems
  • Planting grass and wildflowers between vine rows and woodlands on their properties to support wildlife and capture carbon
  • Recycling and re-using. Vine cuttings, for example, were once routinely burnt in the vineyards. These days they are more likely to be mulched and turned into organic fertiliser
  • Designing wineries that make the most of natural light to further reduce power consumption

These are just some of the ways in which wineries are helping to fight climate change. In recognition of their efforts and to help wine lovers enjoy the sustainable wine they are looking for, a number of accreditations have been launched. 

France has introduced the Haute Valeur Environmentale (HVE), English wineries can be certified as Net Zero by the UK Carbon Code of Conduct, and Wineries for Climate Protection recognises ones that use sustainable methods through the winemaking process.

Are organic, biodynamic wines and natural wines sustainably made?

While organic, biodynamic and natural wines – wines that see little or no human or chemical intervention - don’t have to be sustainably made, most of them are. After all, if you care enough to want to make your winemaking life even more difficult by shunning chemicals and additives, it’s unlikely that you’re not going to care if your wines make the planet burn! Biodynamic winemakers see wine as something that’s to be made in harmony with the planet, so their wineries will almost certainly be sustainably run.

You can find out more about organic and biodynamic wines but reading our Organic Wine & Biodynamic Wine Guide.

What does a sustainable wine future look like?  

To quote South African natural wine guru Anton Von Klopper a sustainable wine future is, ‘All things bright and beautiful!’ According to him and to a growing number of high-quality producers, it’s a world where rosé, white, and red wine is green. Where we work in ever closer harmony with nature and see wines that are even more delicious. It’s a future that will allow future generations to enjoy great wines without it costing the Earth. Now that doesn’t sound pretty good to us, it sounds, well, perfect.

Like to know more about sustainable wine?

We hope you’ve found this sustainable wine guide useful. If you’d like to explore the world of wine, why not become a Perfect Cellar member? With our exclusive TastingBOXES, interactive tastings via Alexa, and an incredible range of fine wines, we have everything you need to enjoy finer wine. Perfect.

You may also be interested in reading our more in-depth red wine guide, white wine guide and sparkling wine guide.

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