Jancis Robinson, MW, featured speaker at Napa RISE
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6 Wine Trends Impacting Climate Change And Consumer Taste

This week in Napa Valley the RISE climate and wine symposium series kicked off, featuring headline speaker, Jancis Robinson, MW. Known as one of the world’s greatest wine writers and trend predictors, Robinson spoke for an hour on what the global wine industry could do to mitigate climate change. Her presentation highlighted a number of key wine trends starting to emerge now and in the future that impact climate change and consumer taste.

Trend #1 – More Light-Weight Wine Bottles

With the glass bottle making up 50% to 68% of wine’s carbon footprint, Robinson predicted that more wineries will be reducing the weight of their wine bottles. The high carbon footprint is attributed to wine glass production and transportation. Heavy glass bottles also take a toll on employees working in wineries and wine shops who often lift multiple cases of wine per day.

“The goal by the SAQ in Quebec is to reduce the weight of glass wine bottles to 420 grams,” stated Robinson. Today many wineries use wine bottles ranging from 700 to 900 grams.

 

There are already a handful of wineries who are embracing the ‘light-weighting’ trend and saving millions of dollars. Craggy Range in New Zealand, Spottswoode and Grgich Hills in Napa Valley, Kendall-Jackson in Sonoma, Native Flora in Oregon, and Albert-Bichot in Burgundy are justjust a few of the wineries who have already embraced this trend.

“By reducing its bottle weight, Tablas Creek achieved $2.2 million in savings over 14 years,” announced Robinson.

Trend #2 – The Growing Use of Alternative Wine Containers

Robinson commented that she is not against glass bottles, because they are the best way to age and cellar a fine wine, but since more than “80% of wine is consumed within a few days of purchase,” that alternative wine containers will be adopted by more wineries.

Her comment is supported by revenue and volume growth for wine sold in cans, boxes, and tetra (carton). According to NielsenIQ, Tetra packs grew 5.1% in sales and 3.7% in volume in the U.S. in 2022. Straights Research predicts cans to achieve a CAGR of 13% from 2022 to 2030, and global boxed wine is expected to grow at CAGR of 5.1% from 2022 to 2032, according to Future Market Insights.

“The big issue, however, is recycling” stated Robinson. In the U.S., consumers only recycle 50% of aluminum beverage cans and 30% of glass, according to the EPA. “In Europe, the glass recycling rate is around 52%,” Robinson said, “but in certain areas, such as Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany, the rates are much higher.”

Trend #3 – Fresh, Acid-Driven, Lighter Wines

“Dark colored wine with high alcohol and heavy oak are out of vogue, and acid and freshness are in,” stated Robinson. More and more consumers are seeking fresh, light wines with lighter, more natural colors, she continued. These include zippy sauvignon blancs and other refreshing white wines, as well as lighter colored reds like pinot noir, along with rosé and sparkling.

This trend is also supported by recent NielsenIQ scan data in the U.S. showing that sauvignon blanc was the only wine varietal with increased volume and value sales in 2022.

Trend #4 – Increasing Consumer Interest in Unique Grape Varieties and New Wine Regions

“Indigenous and alternative grape varieties will have their moment,” predicted Robinson. She mentioned that many consumers, especially younger ones, are interested in trying indigenous grape varieties that have grown naturally for hundreds of years in countries like Portugal, Italy, Greece, Georgia, and others.

Likewise, there is a rise in attraction to new wine regions, specifically smaller appellations (sub AVAs in the U.S.) and special vineyards. Robinson calls this “geographical specificity,” which alludes to a desire to understand the climate and culture in special vineyards around the world.

Trend #5 – An Increase in Disease Resistant Grape Varieties

Due to climate change, Robinson predicted that more wine regions will seek out disease resistant grape varieties to plant in their vineyards. These may include varieties that can better with stand drought and floods, as well as new hybrid grapes that can adapt better to climate change.

Regions, such as Bordeaux, have already approved heartier grape varieties to battle climate change: Arinarnoa, Castets, Marselan, Touriga Nacional, Alvarinho and Liliorila. Robinson mentioned that Cloudy Bay Winery in New Zealand is considering using a different strain of sauvignon blanc in the future to help mitigate against climate change.

Related to this is the higher adoption of drought and disease resistant vineyard rootstock by wineries in the future.

Trend #6 – Red Wine Is No Longer King and Fruit Can Be Added to Wine

Robinson concluded her presentation by mentioning that after years of dominating wine sales, “red wine is no longer king.” There is a resurgence of white wine drinking, especially in Europe, and there is now a shortage of chardonnay in wine regions from Oregon to New Zealand.

Adding fruit and other flavors to wine is also starting to become in vogue, harkening back to the old days of wine cocktails – many of which were invented in Europe. This trend is also supported by recent NielsenIQ data showing that wine cocktails, especially in Ready to Drink (RTD) containers, have surged in sales.

About the Napa RISE Wine & Climate Symposium

This is the second year that the Napa RISE symposium has been hosted in Napa Valley at Charles Krug winery. Its mission revolves around setting a standard for sustainability and climate action to galvanize the global wine industry. Co-founders are Anna Brittain and Martin Reyes, MW.

Napa RISE has organized the series of six symposium seminars around the Six Pillars of Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership:

· ENERGY EFFICIENCY & SAVINGS

· WATER EFFICIENCY & SAVINGS

· WASTE PREVENTION & SUPPLY CHAIN

· PROACTIVEIVE FARMING, SOIL HEALTH & BIODIVERSITY

· SOCIAL JUSTICE, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

· CLIMATE ACTION & REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here

Making the commitment to third party certification takes time and effort, but it is worth it to demonstrate our commitment to the community and to protect our watershed, our land and the air we breathe.​

A live check in with @abrittain & @reyeswine.mw!
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🌿 Did you know that less than 3% of philanthropic donations go to environmental work? 

Please consider donating to Napa Green this giving season with one of several ways at any level! 

Head to the link in our bio for details!
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With gratitude and joy, we wish you a beautiful day & start to the holiday season from all of us at Team Green! 

- Ben, Meghan, Anna, Marissa, Sierra & Megan
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‘If not here, where? If not now, when?’ 

“The onus is on us as a world class wine growing region to be leaders in sustainability & climate action.” 

- Executive Director of Napa Green, Anna Brittain
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It’s been a big week at Napa Green and we want to take a moment to raise a glass to salute you all. 

We are overjoyed to see so much support and invigorated interest in our mission towards sustainable practices and regenerative agriculture in the wine industry. 

We have many more details, paired with educational & financial resources that are already up and rolling on our website. We will continue to share them all, one by one and in great detail here on socials as well. 

For now please plan on joining us at our upcoming Town Hall meeting on Dec 7th at @stsupery. You can find more details at napagreen.org. 

Cheers and Happy Friday Napa Valley. We are so proud to be a part of this amazing community!
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⚠️ Important Announcement 

Napa Green becomes the first sustainable wine growing certification to require the phaseout of Round Up. 

Please find the link in our bio for the full press release and full suite of info & grower resources. 

Join us on December 7th for our Napa Green Town Hall at @stsupery.
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Don’t miss the awe-inspiring @nikki_silvestri at @dominusestatewinery on Nov 30th!
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You’re invited to join us for a very special day at @dominusestatewinery on November 30th. 

We’ll be briefly interviewing our speaker @nikki_silvestri right here on Instagram today at 2:00pm PST to hear more about what to expect at this event. See you then.
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Curious to learn more? Join us at @dominusestatewinery on November 30th for a rare event and luncheon. Link in bio for details.
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GREEN is the new black this season!! 

Head to the link in our bio now and get your shirts, help a good cause and be an honorary part of Team Green this season! 💚
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Let’s hear it for our Executive Director of Napa Green, the incomparable Anna Brittain for being named a 2023 Wine Industry Leader by @winebusinessmonthly!! 

In their Sustainability Stewards section (which we love to see) we find Anna named in good company with inspired fellow leaders! 

Head to our stories or the link in our bio for free access to the full November issue. 

Cheers to the great work of our visionary Director Anna Brittain!!
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Drink Green this Halloween! 💚
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Sierra is our Soil & Climate Specialist at Napa Green and her ask this year is that everyone consider donating to our small but mighty Team Green for Giving Season! 

Here is more from @regenwithsierra: 

“🎃 Happy Halloween Eve everyone! Today is my birthday, and I would be beyond thrilled if you would consider a donation to @napagreen to support a nonprofit focused on climate action in the wine industry 🍷🍾

@napagreen has the leading set of standards for sustainable practices, from soil to bottle. I am most proud of the work we do with winegrape growers to adopt regenerative agricultural practices in their vineyards. 

Please consider supporting us in our mission!  Click the link in bio for more! “
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Thank you for having us @visitnapavalley! We had a great time talking to visitors about the many sustainability practices our Napa Green wineries and vineyards employ! 

Stop into the Visit Napa Valley Visitor Center in Napa to learn more!
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