I’m on vacation this week in South Carolina, spending most of my time outside and generally marveling at the beauty of our natural world. (As opposed to my golf swing, which possesses absolutely no beauty of its own: It’s an arhythmic, Charles Barkley-esque thing.)
It’s a treat to be outside, of course, and a reminder of how fragile our natural world really is--especially given all the news reports this summer, from the BP oil spill in the Gulf to the the usual warnings about global warming. And this morning, I awoke to a news item on Decanter.com that reinforced what we’ve been reporting on here for quite some time: That the wine industry is taking significant steps toward being a more responsible global business, cutting its carbon footprint and other potentially harmful impacts where it can.
The great Bordeaux producer Smith Haut Lafitte, Decanter reported, “is to begin exporting wines by sailing ship...The 106 year-old British ketch Bessie Ellen will set sail from Bordeaux for Montreal on July 21, laden with 20,000 bottles of Smith Haut Lafitte...in an effort to cut the chateau's carbon footprint.”
This is a gutsy move, to be sure, but also very much in line with the industry’s efforts to protect the earth from which its grapes and wines originate: From lighter Champagne bottles to a focus on organic and sustainable farming practices and beyond, Smith Haut Lafitte’s effort is one more piece of evidence that the wine industry is leading the way toward a greener future.
Plus, it seems, the wine benefits, too: “‘We conducted a blind-test experiment with independent oenologists who found that long journeys by sailing ships also improved wines, some of them giving an impression of having aged a year in the process,’ [shipping company] CTMV CEO Frédéric Albert told Decanter.com.”