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Happy Earth Day

April 22, 2011 11:24 am - Posted by Jody in Travel

During our travels across the globe to produce Wine Portfolio I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the world’s top winemakers. And I have been able to visit some stunning regions; areas of abundance, fertility and natural wonder. But these are also areas that are often under threat. In Napa we learned about rising costs and the challenge of keeping arable land as farm land when there is such a temptation to trade vineyards for suburbia and winemaking for real estate development. In South Africa a number of viticulturists described the problems of climate change and how global warming was altering their farming and affecting their yields. And in Argentina we learned of droughts and floods and the impact this was having on their unique terroir. We even experienced the ravages of hail first hand.

There are threats to the environment everywhere. But in all the regions that we’ve visited we have also met passionate stewards of the land. Farmers and winemakers who care about their world and are committed to preserving and conserving their natural resources are the norm, not the exception. We’ve visited wineries that are organic and others which are sustainable and low impact. I’ve spoken with factory workers who obsess over every time they turn on a forklift and wine retailers who take all of their extra cardboard boxes home at night because there are no municipal recycling programs where their shop is. Wine is a passion that comes from the land and so it is nice to see so many wine lovers doing their part to give back. Enjoying a great glass of wine should be a reminder of the beauty and fragility of the land from where it was nurtured.

Winemakers will tell you great wine is not made in a barrel but grown on the vine. It’s not about the packaging but the farming. And so this Earth Day let’s raise a glass to Mother Earth and let’s each think of ways in which we can lessen our own impact. And let’s hope that the year ahead is a good one for our world.