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Brand Spotlight: The Vintage Wine Club on wine sustainability

When asked about sustainable wine, Stephanie Riguord, Partner and Sommelier of Vintage Wine Club said that “Most customers approach us for organic wine thinking that it is the same as sustainable wine”. She added, “Organic wine does not mean that the wine is produced in a sustainable manner, and sustainable wine does not mean that it is organic!”.

This is a true misconception in the wine industry. For a bottle of wine to be certified sustainable, it has to have a winemaking process that protects mostly the environment and consumers. Unless otherwise stated, it is unlikely that sustainable wine are also made with 100% organically grown ingredients.

“Grapevines are extremely fragile”, said Stephanie. “it requires a lot of vineyard treatments, both natural or phytosanitary, to produce grapes, especially in humid areas.”.

She added that tractors are used several times for these treatments. “Grapes are also one of the sweetest fruits. During wine production, it gets very sticky in the cellar and we need a lot of water for cleaning” Stephanie commented. “We generally say that 2 litres of water is needed to produce one litre of wine!”.

While it is a low-emitting sector, winemaking still contributes to the carbon footprint.

“Wine producers are very much aware of the sustainability issues brought about by winemaking.” Stephanie mentioned. “We have seen many of them making huge efforts by getting the HVE certification for example, which mandates certain features, such as sustainable water wastage treatments”.

“Wine producers are also purchasing lighter trucks and tractors to minimise the emission of carbon dioxide”.

The future of the wine industry is shifting to prioritise sustainability. Stephanie noted that wine producers are getting increasingly environmentally-conscious and moving towards cleaner wine production. She also added that the “pressure from consumers and media is palpable”, and wine producers “won’t have any other choice but to produce sustainable and clean wines that respect the environment”.

“At Vintage, we work with la crème de la crème of wine producers for each French wine regions. These are quality producers who naturally prioritises sustainable wine production.” Stephanie said.

“Domaine des Roches Neuves, Château de la Roulerie, La Coulee de Serrant and Le Puy are some that we represent here in Singapore. They are all certified organic and are working towards a sustainable viticulture.” She added that “Knowledge is power, informing our customers about the reality is important. Encouraging them to be more aware of wine sustainability is important too”.

Stephanie has created a film documentary about natural, organic and sustainable wines. In this documentary, she interviewed hundreds of French wine producers in their vineyards to better understand the meaning behind these labels and what makes up a “clean” wine. The film will be screened on 8th December, during the vOilah! Festival. Watch the trailer below and get your tickets here.

French Shopping, Dining & Lifestyle guide in Singapore