Eric Texier, as quoted1 by Jancis Robinson in today’s Financial Times: “Natural wines are full of good intentions. They are full of fossil fuels too.”
Tractor usage, which is covered briefly in the column, is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Ms. Robinson rightly mentions the fuel and environmental cost of keeping wines chilled; more so when we’re several seas away in a tropical climate. In addition to our off-site storage facilities, we run several wine fridges where we keep stock on hand and for sampling. There’s also refrigerated delivery locally, which adds to the emissions.
We are not wholly comfortable with our current environmental impact, to be frank, and are seeking to mitigate it where possible. We choose cardboard packaging (lighter and less bulky) and place and ship larger orders (reefer trucks are fuller), to name but two measures. Insofar as these are also cost-efficient, they’re easy enough to implement.
But we wish we could do more.
1 Re-quoted, to be precise, from Jamie Goode’s new book, “Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking”. The article is also available on Jancis Robinson’s excellent website.