Pouring Sustainability Nurturing the Future of Wine

What does sustainability really mean? If you asked one of your fellow wine friends if they think sustainability in wine is important, it is a good guess they would say yes. If you asked them why, it is also a good guess that they would say because it makes sense. If you asked them what makes sense, it is a good guess you would hear a long pregnant pause.

If you were in Vancouver in May you might have stopped by Top Drop. A wine industry event that is the darling of the community. It is an intimate event providing a place for terroir-influenced, handcrafted wines, and the people behind them. They believe in the importance in farming one’s own fruit and being engaged with grape-growers who have a high standard of wine production methods. The trade floor has 40 wine makers who are craftsmen and artists. The workshops give you time to rest on a particular topic, paired perfectly with wine to illustrate through taste what you are learning.

Featured Left to Right – Wine Makers from: Long Meadow Ranch Wine Estates, California, Le Vieux Pin, BC, Enate, Spain, Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards, Nova Scotia and Ridge Vineyards, California

In the world of winemaking, there exists a profound connection between the artistry of crafting fine wines and the timeless traditions of agriculture. Wine makers, the custodians of vineyards, embrace the role of farmers, working harmoniously with nature to cultivate the grapes that will yield exceptional wines. Their unwavering dedication to the land, coupled with their deep understanding of the terroir, enables them to create wines that reflect the true essence of their vineyards. It is an intimate relationship between wine makers and their farming practices, highlighting their commitment to sustainable viticulture and the tireless efforts required to produce remarkable wines. Whole cycle farming describes it best It is a philosophy for vineyards that are an organic, sustainable, integrated farming system that relies on each part of vineyard practices to contribute to the health of the whole system. A whole cycle farming operation ensures nothing goes to waste and finds ways to contribute to the ecosystem in a positive way, making fertilizers out of compost, adding bee hives, using natural plants to discourage pests instead of pesticides are a few examples.

The Vineyard: An Extension of the Winemaker’s Soul

For wine makers, the vineyard is more than just a patch of land. It represents a labor of love and an extension of their own identity. They meticulously tend to each vine, nurturing them throughout the seasons, paying attention to every minute detail that contributes to the health and quality of the grapes. From pruning and trellising to managing pests and diseases, wine makers work tirelessly, often hand-in-hand with the elements, to ensure the vines thrive. They understand that the true character of the wines they produce is born in the vineyard itself.

Embracing Sustainable Viticulture

In recent years, the wine industry has witnessed a shift towards sustainable viticulture practices, and wine makers have been at the forefront of this movement. They recognize the importance of preserving the land for future generations and have adopted organic, biodynamic, and regenerative farming methods. By utilizing natural fertilizers, implementing cover crops, and employing integrated pest management, wine makers minimize their environmental impact and promote biodiversity within their vineyards. Through their commitment to sustainable practices, they not only produce exceptional wines but also act as stewards of the earth.

The Intimate Dance with Terroir

Terroir, the unique combination of soil, climate, and geographical factors, imparts a distinctive character to wines. Wine makers intimately understand this dance between the vine and its environment. They study the soil composition, analyzing its nutrients and drainage capabilities. They monitor the microclimates within their vineyards, observing temperature variations and sun exposure. This intimate knowledge enables them to select the ideal grape varieties for their terroir and adapt their farming techniques accordingly. By harnessing the inherent qualities of the land, wine makers craft wines that express the truest sense of place.


The Culmination of a Year’s Toil

As the grapes ripen, the vineyard comes alive with anticipation. Harvest is the culmination of a year’s hard work, and wine makers meticulously determine the optimal moment to pluck the fruit from the vines. They handpick the grapes, ensuring only the finest specimens are selected for winemaking. This labor-intensive process requires skill and expertise to guarantee that the grapes are at their peak of flavor and ripeness. The fruit is then transformed into wine, showcasing the winemaker’s artistry and the bounty of their farm.

Wine makers, true stewards of the land, embody the spirit of farmers as they tirelessly cultivate their vineyards and craft exceptional wines. Their commitment to sustainable viticulture practices and their profound understanding of terroir elevate their work from mere winemaking to an expression of art and nature intertwined.

The next time you are savoring a glass of wine, take a moment to taste the heart that goes into the farming of the vines, experiencing the beauty of their labor in every sip.

Published by carpavino

I look forward to never knowing what compelling strangers I will meet, what I will learn & what tales they will tell. Trina Plamondon