Fresh Water? Grapevines Say, 'No, Thanks'

    Nothing could be better for nourishing grapevines than fresh water… right?

     Well, according to the South Australian Research and Development Institute, that ain’t necessarily true.

     Over a period of three years, the institute compared the effects of main waters and reclaimed waste water on the soil of a vineyard in Australia’s McLaren Vale. And it turned out that the soil treated with the reclaimed water had fewer harmful pathogens, along with higher microbial activity.

     This enables more nutrients to get to the vines, and that means farmers can use less fertilizer.

     So, it turns out, using reclaimed water is better for the grapevines and economically beneficial for the growers – a real win-win.


     Meanwhile, the first-ever attempt at a climate neutral vineyard in France is underway in Bordeaux’s Medoc region, where winemaker Remi Lacombe plans to offset his own carbon emissions by investing in a carbon-reducing project elsewhere.

     Lacombe, who has four chateaux in the region, is working in conjunction with a German-based climate protection group, ClimatePartner, to measure his own emissions and find a climate-friendly scheme somewhere in the world.

     “To compensate for my carbon emissions, which, from the four vineyards, add up to about 639 tons of CO2 per year – or about 1.7 kilos per bottle – I will buy a project that prevents production of the same amount of CO2,” Lacombe explained. He will choose his project soon, he says, hopefully finding something that fits with what he does.

     A range of carbon offset projects are proposed by ClimatePartner, including, for example, the replacement of a wood-burning stove in a developing country with a solar-powered device.

Posted in Wine and the Environment
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