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Sustainability has become a buzzword, says Erica Landin-Lofving, Vintage Wine Estates’ chief sustainability officer and a founding member of the Sustainable Wine Roundtable (SWR). “But true sustainability—treating our common resources in a manner that keeps them intact for coming generations to use—is key for the survival of a thriving wine world.”
On September 15, the SWR announced its official launch as a global, independent, nonprofit, multi-stakeholder roundtable, founded to create and maintain global standards for sustainability in wine.
“Most research indicates the public is taking an increasing interest in product sustainability credentials and that this influences their purchasing decisions,” Richard Bampfield, MW, said at the press event last month. “Despite all the good work being done, the wine customer still finds it difficult to identify the wines that have been sustainably produced,” he says, and pointed to the plethora of schemes, logos and labels created in the name of environmental awareness.
“Just within our group, we have vineyards or wineries that are certified CSWA, LIVE, SIP, Napa Green, Fish Friendly Farming,” Landin-Lofving says of Vintage Wine Estates’ portfolio of more than 50 U.S. wine brands. “I wouldn’t even say that I, as a full-time, experienced wine sustainability professional at a high level, could tell you the key differences if you put me on the spot. So how do we expect buyers and consumers to understand?”