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.​

Economic benefits & ROI of workshops: In a time of changing consumer trends, we want you think of us as extended members of your team. We are here to help share information of ways to not only increase your sustainability but also share with you how these things bring with them ROI, decrease in cost, consumer approval & many other economic benefits. 

Join us at our All Things Bottle Sustainability Workshop to hear from our panel of experts. Registration is $20 and the link can be found in our profile. Cheers!
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📣 Don’t miss these events! 

April 26th - All Things Bottle Sustainability, Pine Ridge Vineyards, 9:00am.

May 23rd - The Future of Water Workshop, 9:00am. 

On April 26 we have 12+ speakers covering all aspects of climate smart glass and packaging. Digging in on the truly most sustainable recyclable/compostable/reusable options, with some product show and tell. 

On May 23 we have keynotes from two incredible speakers and internationally renowned experts: Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute and author of The Three Ages of Water, and Mimi Casteel, vineyard manager at Hope Well Wine and forest ecologist. 

Register now!
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Join us for a dinner that brilliantly combines luxury and sustainability with Vintner Kia Behnia, acclaimed Chef Dave Cruz and The Wine Bible Author, Karen MacNeil! 

This event will help Napa Green raise much needed funding to keep our non profit thriving. For more info head to the link in our bio or email social@napagreen.org!
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We invite you join us at a very special wine dinner with @karenmacneilco, Chef Dave Cruz and @neotempowines to raise funds for climate action in the wine industry. 

For further details please go to the link in our profile or email social@napagreen.org. 

We hope to see you there. Cheers!
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Happy Earth Month! While our members celebrate the Earth every day of the year, this month is a great time to showcase those sustainability practices and tell consumers what you do to be green! Be sure to tag @napagreen in your posts, join us @earthdaynapa, and reach out for more ways to get involved!
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Meghan brings her passion for wine and sustainability together in her role as @napagreen’s social media manager. She is both a Vintner and Certified Sommelier and helps our members share their sustainability stories, emphasizing how caring for nature and community elevates both quality and guest experience. 

Thanks for your unwavering passion and dedication @mvino1!
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Join the @napagreen team this earth month at events around the valley at @cliffamily @earthdaynapa @silveroakcellars and more.

We look forward to talking (and drinking) sustainability with you!
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Say hi to @marisataylorwines, our Winery & Climate Specialist. Marisa has supported sustainable farming and green practices from vineyard to cellar and across all winemaking operations and continues to leverage her expertise to help wineries become climate action champions. 

Thanks for all you do!
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Last week we had a great climate smart burn and alternatives demonstration @gloriaferrerwinery where attendees learned techniques for a conservation/low-smoke burn with demonstrations from @thecleanburncompany and @napa.char. 

Additionally, speakers from @naparcd and Treasury Wine Estates presented the results from a recent vineyard biochar application research project. 

Learn more on our website.
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Have you met Sierra, our Climate & Soil Specialist? Sierra works tirelessly to advance climate resiliency in the Napa Valley by collaborating with growers to realize their climate action aspirations. 

Say hi to @growresiliently next time you see her in the field. Thanks for all that you do, Sierra!
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On average 40-60% of a vineyard and winery’s carbon footprint is from packaging and distribution alone. Join us to explore climate smart, sustainable glass, closures, the future of reusable glass, alternative packaging. Hear case studies. Learn what is truly recyclable, and new opportunities to recycle film wrap and label backing. Since 2020, climate smart marketed CPG products have doubled in sales to $3.4 billion. Wine bottles and packaging can be leveraged to meet rising consumer demand for climate smart products.

Get tickets to this workshop @pineridgewine to hear from @napagreen @consciouscontainer @revinobottles @keystonecapsules @cork_supply @neotempowines @estal_packaging @uppervalleydisposal @naparecycling and more!
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You may have seen Megan, our Winery Program Manager, out and about sporting her @napagreen shirt and talking about green practices. Utilizing her background in hospitality, sustainability and engineering she is dedicated in guiding businesses toward a more sustainable future. 

Thanks for all you do @love.dream.breathe!
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Join us for All Things Bottle Sustainability on Friday, April 26th. Link in bio to register!
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Cheers to @abrittain! Anna has worked locally, nationally and internationally on environmental management, including leading @napagreen and @naparise to the forefront of the wine industry climate action movement. 

Keep an eye out for her with our unofficial mascot, Lily, sharing our best practices, facilitating action and growing resilience in our industry and community. 

Thank you for all you do!
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