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The Carbon Footprint of That Glass of Vino
Emily Gertz, 15 Nov 07

So -- you're an average, eco-conscious resident of the Boston-to-Washington megacity corridor, and you're worried about food miles: the distance your edibles are transported in greenhouse gas-belching glory to arrive on your plate. You act by ignoring the pile of New Zealand Gala apples at the greengrocer in favor of locally grown Macintoshes, and buying rounds of artisanal Vermont blue at the weekly greenmarket instead of bricks of mystery cheddar at the supermarket.

But you're washing it down with a glass of wine from France.

How much carbon dioxide was generated moving that bottle from Europe to you? Is giving up Old World vintages for North American wines the only option? Maybe not: Tyler Colman, aka "Dr. Vino," writes to us that on the topic of the carbon footprint of wine, "We have several findings about packaging, transportation and winemaking...I thought you would be particularly interested in our finding that for consumers in the East Coast (all the way to Western Ohio), the same weight bottle of wine from Bordeaux has a smaller carbon footprint than wine trucked in from California thanks to the efficiencies of container shipping." Read all about it here.

(Thanks, Tyler!)

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Another option is to ship in wine from Canada. There are wineries in Pelee Island and Niagara. Sure its not a Bordeaux, but its not grape juice either. There are actually some really good Ontario wines, and they are not that expensive either. How does this compare in terms of eco-footprints?

Posted by: Allain on 17 Nov 07

Here, on the West Coast of Canada, we are blessed with easy access to wine from the Okanagan region (Niagara is not the only wine-producing region in Canada), only a short 3-4 hour drive away from Vancouver. I don't know if the same logic would apply to the West Cost with regards to wine shipped by container from Australia and wine trucked North from California, it would be interesting to see where the line stops for Western provinces / States.

Posted by: Melissa on 19 Nov 07



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