Wine is, ultimately, an agricultural product, so soil quality is a key factor in making good wine.
Here are four wines from producers who all take environmental sustainability seriously.
Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Gravelière 2015 (£24.05 independents) fresh gooseberry, aromatic green capsicum and white pepper with zippy lime fruit and pebbly minerality; clean, pure and fresh.
Sustainability is a natural part of Joseph Mellot’s business and is reflected in their environmentally friendly viticulture and winemaking; they were the first winery in the Central Loire Valley to attain the ISO 14001 international standard.
Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Les Abeilles Rouge 2014 (£12.15 Wine Rack, John Lewis, independents) dark fruits, dried herbs, spice and pencil shavings; dense and slightly jammy with plenty of extraction and balanced freshness. A big, crowd-pleasing hedonist of a wine.
Respect for nature and sustainable approaches to vineyard management and winemaking is key to Colombo’s green philosophy. Côtes du Rhone Les Abeilles (‘the bees’), is named in honour of the important role that bees play in pollinating their vineyards.
The Colombo family are keen bee keepers and honey makers, and active supporters of bee charities in France, the UK and the US, promoting bio diversity in their home appellations of Cornas and Saint-Péray.
Vidal Reserve Pinot Noir 2016 (£17.15 Cambridge Wine Merchants, independents) sweet ripe black cherry fruit, florality toasty-oaky spice, minerality and fine tannins; fresh, compelling and savoury.
Vidal is dedicated to environmentally friendly winemaking and sustainable winegrowing practices. It was a founding member of the Living Wine group, a small group of wineries who gained ISO 14001 certification in 1998, having achieved a globally recognised standard in environmental management systems.
The winery is a member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) and BioGro certified, meaning it is accredited to process grapes grown using organic principles.
Cune Crianza 2014 (£10.30 Majestic, Tesco, Wine Rack, Wholefoods, E H Booth and Co, Vino Wines) sweet, ripe bramble fruits and oaky earthiness; fresh, soft and supple with good underpinnings. Very adept.
CVNE has a clear philosophy of a constant quest for quality and they are a great believer in the importance of responsible, sustainable viticulture. They have established an environmental policy which covers many aspects of it production, for example all organic by-products in the winery are reused or sold as compost or even as products used in spa treatments!
CVNE also run water saving programmes and comprehensively recycle wherever possible.