New Zealand wine will be first to list carbon footprint


Zlata Rodionova in London


14th December 2010


Colour, aroma, price, these were the qualities a wine connoisseur would be looking for while buying a bottle of his favourite drink. Now, a New Zealand winemaker is changing the rules and asking customers to consider one more characteristic – carbon emissions by the individual glass serving.

According to the Decanter, each bottle of Mobius Marlborough sauvignon blanc, which takes its name from the highest peak of the range of hills above the town, will display its carbon emissions for a typical 125ml glass.

This certification is significant for the Marlborough based manufacturer New Zealand Wine Company, which has been pursuing sustainable management within the New Zealand wine industry. The carbon emissions will be adapted to each different export market to measure the environmental factors such as transportation and refrigeration. Bottles sold in New Zealand will consequently carry a figure of 140g whereas bottles shipped to Australia will display 190g.

A higher figure is due to be calculated for the UK market due to the distance involved in shipping the wines here. So is it a step in the right direction? Carbon Reduction label is supposed to help customers in the UK and elsewhere to make a more informed choice about the product they are buying. The customer can therefore support companies that are working towards a more sustainable future but is it really applicable to wine?

Decanter journalist Radka Slovackova, 27, said: “In my opinion it doesn’t make any sense. The region it comes from defines a wine, it’s part of its history and flavour. It would be weird not buying a New Zealand wine in the UK just because it might have a high carbon footprint.”

French student and wine lover, Alexandra Paritzky, 21, agreed: “I do think ethical and green living is very important. But with a product like wine I just don’t see the point. Now that I live in the UK, should I stop buying wine from France because their carbon footprint might be bigger because of transport and refrigeration processes? I don’t think so.”

Return to Home