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Why solar and why California wineries?

Green Enology Research, 1st Edition

In principle, as developing countries seek to find a place for themselves among a vast array of multinational corporations in the global market, budding firms have had to develop unique strategies to stand out among competitors. Recent studies have shown that utilizing corporate responsibility protocols can be a major asset to developing country multinationals in broadening their consumer base and maximizing profits. As a result, otherwise small firms have amassed the powers of a developing country multinational and garnered considerable economic success through weaving corporate responsibility principles into their central business and trade structures.

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South Africa is the eighth largest producer of wine worldwide. In , it produced 4. Canada makes up 5 percent of exports, and the U.

Organic Wine Production

Wines of South Africa WOSA , established in its current form in , is a non-profit organization that represents all South African producers of wine who export their products. The organization receives funding via a levy per liter on all bottled exported wines. It also promotes the multilateral corporate responsibility initiatives that the industry undertakes. There are numerous sustainability initiatives that govern the South African wine industry.

The Sustainable Wine South Africa initiative bases its sustainable practices around the San word hannuwa, which is a collective word meaning harmony and plenty. The Integrated Protection of Wine is a voluntary environmental sustainable scheme that the industry established in The WWF notes that a third of the South African wine industry now has environmental management plans in place. Many align themselves with the World Fair Trade Organization, which certifies products based on fair environmental, labor and development standards.

One of the hottest topics in fighting climate change is promoting carbon-neutral practices, or ensuring that the total amount of carbon dioxide the firm releases is reduced to zero or balanced by actions taken to reduce emissions like planting trees. In , Backsberg Estate became the first carbon-neutral vineyard in the country, and one of only three in the world. Activities like these have perks beyond social responsibility; for instance, Backsberg wines has received numerous awards and recognition, not just gold for wine-making, but also Green Awards and the like for industry leadership in sustainability initiatives.

In South Africa, two thirds of vineyard workers are seasonal employees, who move from property to property during the year.

Toward a Sustainable Wine Industry: Green Enology Research

Initiatives like these seek to empower farm workers, many of whom come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. The winery also provides free healthcare in addition to high wages. As a participant in the WWF biodiversity program noted above, Vergenoegd has practiced chemical-free pest control since through its use of runner ducks. Sustainability, as a philosophy, integrates economics, ecology, and community into the farming operation.

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Examples of practices to support the economic sustainability of a business include developing a comprehensive business plan and researching new marketing strategies. Environment: Soil, water, and air quality are protected and enhanced through integrated farming techniques. Key components in the vineyard include cover cropping, composting, minimizing the use of synthetic chemical inputs, and farmscaping to support biodiversity. This ensures that the land will be able to support healthy crops while contributing to larger scale environmental health over the long term.

Community: People are both an asset and vital component to farm operations. Socially responsible business decisions include fair treatment of employees and pursuing positive community relationships. Social equity in employment practices, as well as consideration of farm neighbors, mutually supports the longevity of both the business and local economy.

Several prominent growers worldwide who have switched to growing wine grapes organically or Biodynamically claim that their wines have gotten better.

Toward a Sustainable Wine Industry: Green Enology Research - CRC Press Book

Few of these claims are scientifically tested, but most would be difficult to test in any case, so growers need to make up their own minds about what is fact and what is wishful thinking the author does not endorse these claims, but does believe some of them. Claims made by most of the growers listed below: Earlier ripening More even ripening Thicker berry skins Better expression of terroir Berries absorb less water from fall rains Longer lived vines Revitalization of older vines.

Airy, MD. The winery has received numerous awards for its wines, including being named one of the "10 Hottest Small Wine Brands" by Wine Business Monthly in The 22 acre all vinifera vineyard is farmed without herbicides, insecticides, and chemical fertilizers.

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Familiarizing yourself with organic and sustainability certification programs can provide a thorough introduction to sustainable winegrowing techniques. You may find that you are already practicing sustainable techniques in your vineyard or discover a few improvements to your current practices that benefit your operation. For more on these programs see our Certifications page. Widespread interest in sustainability continues to grow beyond a trend into a philosophy about food and beverages.

McGourty, G. Organic Winegrowing Manual. Publication Altieri, M. Guerra, B.

Toward a Sustainable Wine Industry

Ingels, C. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture , 56 1 , Tesic, D, Keller, M. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 58 1 , For more on sustainable viticulture see our Practices , Certifications , and Resources pages.