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Sustainability in winemaking

At first there was purely natural wine – from the grapes picked and left overnight in a tumbler which got fermented by the natural yeast present on grape skins. Maybe this produced enough wine for consumption by a man and his family.

Grapes left in tumbler converted into wine by natural yeast on grape skins

But then may be driven by greed or sensing profit making, he planned to grow more grapes to make more wine in order to sell to others. For this it became necessary to clear the land of all its natural diversity (flora and fauna) and create a level ground to grow vines (which infact holds true for all agriculture).

Initially vast tracts lands had to be cleared to make these available for growing vines

I feel this was the major disruption in the natural ecosystems existing in human habitat with a devastating effect.

Man started cultivating grapes for commercial winemaking

With the natural plants, weeds, organisms gone the soil was nourished with artificial chemicals, fertilizers,  pesticides (often sprayed with heavy machines) to keep vine diseseas like mildew, mold, rot etc at bay.

Machines are increasingly used to spray artificial chemicals in vineyards

Down the years the cumulative destruction of environment by such intervenist human activity lead to the need for what we call today as the Natural Wine Movement. Natural, organic, biodynamic wines are all offshoots of this and is now appropriately grouped under an all encompassing term called as Sustainability – which includes sustainable practices not just protect the vineyard or its environment but to make winemaking activities sustain all its stakeholders.

Sustainability should be for all stakeholders in winemaking activity

Realization has dawned globally that such sustainability should also mandatorily include the smaller grape gowers and even the workers in the vineyards who could be at the bottom of the winemaking pyramid. Nothing exemplifies this better than the ongoing COVID19 pandemic crisis. 

(All pictures from Google)

By mukulmanku

I'm a WSET Level 3 wine enthusiast. Got introduced to the world of wines a bit late in life - and it has been an amazing journey since then. Hope to connect with wine lovers world over and share wine experiences. Do share your wine stories. Happy connecting. Cheers.