Climate change and sustainability have become big issues in Australia, where the Australian Wine Research Institute is working to provide information and programs for grape growers and vintners.
As an example, opportunities exist to add value to winery processes and waste streams through renewable energy technology such as biomass electricity, liquid biofuels and solar thermal systems.
The AWRI is researching the use of grape marc as a fuel source for low-emission, renewable power generation, and also is investigating bioethanol and solar thermal co-generation and tri-generation options.
The organization has been working closely with grape growers and winemakers on a number of fronts, including the impact of smoke in wine production (Australia has suffered through massive wild fires in recent years), the use and impact of various agrochemicals, regulatory issues that relate to the environment, and much more.
It may seem like mundane stuff to some, but these are critical issues that impact not only wine quality, but also the health and well-being of Mother Earth.
You can read more about the AWRI’s programs here.