environmental issues

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News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Save Our Parks and Your Teeth for Earth Day

Wineries around the world are pitching in to help out Mother Earth, from sustainable agriculture to planting trees to winery fermentation-fueled sodium bicarbonate for toothpaste

Posted: April 18, 2013  

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Climate Change Will Turn Up the Heat on California's Water Wars

A new report on how climate change could affect the viability of California's vineyards puts water rights in the spotlight again

Posted: April 12, 2013  By James Laube

If you’ve never seen the movie Chinatown, now’s a perfect time, as water rights issues are as hot a topic today in the Golden State as they were during the "California Water Wars," which began at the turn of the 20th century and serve as the backdrop to the classic film.

A report on climate change published by the National Academies of Sciences earlier this month is bringing California's seemingly endless disputes over water rights sharply into focus, especially as it pertains to the wine industry. The international team of researchers that conducted the study made predictions about where vineyards will and won't be viable by the year 2050.

As the report pertains to California, the scientists predict that 70 percent of the area currently suitable for viticulture here will no longer be viable by the year 2050—that is, without the use of adaptive measures such as irrigation or misting vineyards to cool them off. Factoring in the areas of California that will become viable for quality grapegrowing as a result of climate change, the net loss of California vineyard land becomes 60 percent by 2050.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Will Vineyards Really Push Pandas Out of Their Home?

Research finds changing climates may force growers to move to new areas—bumping right into wildlife

Posted: April 9, 2013  By Dana Nigro

If you love wines from the world's most famous regions, or grow them there, you might be worried right now. By 2050, areas suitable for wine grapes could shrink as much as 25 percent in Chile, 51 percent in South Africa's Cape region, 60 percent in California, 68 percent in Mediterranean Europe and 73 percent in parts of Australia, according to a new global analysis published April 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.

But hey, we wine lovers are adaptable. New parts of the world will become more promising for grapegrowing, particularly at higher elevations and in regions in northern Europe, New Zealand and western North America. The problem? Anyone planting vineyards there will likely be pushing into undeveloped wilderness and habitat for at-risk species, from grizzly bears and gray wolves that live in the Rockies to the giant panda in Central China. Uh-oh.

March 31, 2013 Issue  :  Features

California Wineries Debate Fracking

Posted: March 31, 2013  By Matt Kettmann

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

From Compost to Cosmetics to Cupcakes: What to Do With a Giant Pile of Grape Pulp

Oregon researchers uncover creative new uses for a winemaking byproduct. Pomace muffin, anyone?

Posted: March 19, 2013  By Dana Nigro

Last year, California and Washington wineries crushed around 4.5 million tons of wine grapes. That's an awful lot of skins, seeds and stems left over—something like 1.5 million tons. When it comes to reducing waste, many wineries are cutting the use of electricity, fuel, water and packaging. One thing I don't hear a lot about when covering sustainability efforts is post-harvest waste: pomace. Maybe a big, squishy mass of pulp sounds less sexy than an elegant, energy-efficient building, but pomace is no less ripe for innovation.

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Fire Scorches Chez Panisse

Plus, Château Palmer learns no one is safe from wine crime, Bolivia's president prescribes coca wine to the new pope and Moët & Chandon gets a questionable endorsement from Justin Timberlake on SNL

Posted: March 14, 2013  

News & Features  :  News

What Impact Could Fracking Have on California Vineyards?

The energy industry’s growing interest in a controversial extraction technique has growers worried about water problems and other environmental concerns

Posted: January 7, 2013  By Matt Kettmann

Dec. 31, 2012 - Jan. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Features

Exploring Biodynamics

Posted: December 31, 2012  By Dana Nigro

Dec. 31, 2012 - Jan. 15, 2013 Issue  :  Features

French Hemp Winery Is No Joke

Posted: December 31, 2012  By Dana Nigro

Dec. 15, 2012 Issue  :  Features

Hornet Terroir

Posted: December 15, 2012  By Stuart Fox

News & Features  :  News

Château Hemp?

A French winery made of hemp bricks is no joke—it's green, capturing carbon dioxide emissions

Posted: November 30, 2012  By Dana Nigro

Nov. 30, 2012 Issue  :  Features

Redefining Natural Wine

Francesco Bellini believes technology can create an additive-free wine

Posted: November 30, 2012  By Dana Nigro

News & Features  :  News

Construction of Controversial Mosel Bridge Continues

Riesling vineyards could be impacted as workers build foundations for first pier

Posted: November 13, 2012  By Victoria Daskal

Oct. 31, 2012 Issue  :  Features

Q&A: Turning Restaurants Green

Posted: October 31, 2012  By Dana Nigro

Oct. 31, 2012 Issue  :  Books

Book Review: A Guide to DIY Organic

Posted: October 31, 2012  By Dana Nigro

News & Features  :  News & Features

2012 New World Wine Experience: Naked Terroir and Biodynamic Wines

Four vintners profess their reasons for faith in a still little-understood farming philosophy

Posted: October 23, 2012  By Dana Nigro

News & Features  :  Green Talk

Q&A: Turning the Restaurant Business Green

Michael Oshman decided he could make a difference by urging restaurateurs to be environmentally sustainable

Posted: September 21, 2012  By Dana Nigro

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Running Naked in the Vineyards

At Araujo, one of Napa's most famous Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards is farmed biodynamically

Posted: September 10, 2012  By James Molesworth

"I was reading an article that was talking about people running naked through the vineyards. It really wasn't a serious article, but that storyline kept me hooked,"' said Bart Araujo, dryly, when I asked him how he got interested in biodynamic farming. "And then I got to the second page, and it mentioned Nicolas Joly and Huët. And also de Vogüé, DRC and Leflaive. And Zind-Humbrecht. I asked myself, well, if it's good enough for those guys, why isn't it good enough for me?"

Araujo, 68, has applied a pragmatic approach to the Eisele vineyard ever since he and his wife, Daphne, purchased it in 1990. They've kept the historical name of the vineyard (named for Milt Eisele, who planted much of it and tended it into his later years before selling it) and improved upon the site's impressive track record for producing some of Napa's best Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc bottlings.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Biodynamics, Up Close and Personal

Valeria Huneeus talks science and biodynamics during my visits to Quintessa and Flowers

Posted: September 7, 2012  By James Molesworth

When it comes to biodynamics, I've never been a skeptic. But I haven't embraced it fully either. Much of the farming method's doctrine makes sense, but little has been proven. It's originator, Rudolf Steiner, often spoke in analogies which sound reasonable on the surface but have little proof. It's been left up to those who read his work to interpret and form what has today become biodynamic farming.

So it was with great interest that I got to spend the day with Valeria Huneeus and her team at Quintessa. Huneeus has been the driving force behind California's Quintessa since its founding in 1990. A believer in biodynamics, Huneeus also has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and nutrition, a seemingly perfect balance of science and common sense to help me understand biodynamics a bit more. Along with biodynamic consultant Alan York, winemaker Charles Thomas, viticulturist Michael Sipora and vineyard manager Martin Galvan, we walked the the vineyard of Quintessa yesterday.

Aug 31, 2012 Issue  :  Features

On Long Island, a Move to Green

Posted: August 31, 2012  By Dana Nigro

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