At Volcanic Selections, we often find ourselves saying ‘sustainability in and beyond the vineyard’ — though what exactly does that mean? To us, sustainable winemaking goes far beyond healthy farming practices. Diversity, inclusivity, and leaving the land better than how we found it are just a few of the many principles that we believe play into sustainable winemaking. Here’s why.
What Is Sustainability?
Sustainability is defined as “the ability for something to be maintained at a certain rate or level,” as well as “the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.” While healthy farming is essential to the sustenance of natural resources, we believe that people are a huge (and even more important) factor in the maintenance of ecological balance.
In a literal sense, humans are the forces behind the work being done in the vineyard, which makes them a key component to achieving and maintaining our planet’s balance. However, these humans must be treated justly for the whole process to come full circle. This means being compensated fairly, working regulated hours in healthy and proper conditions, as well as ensuring that basic human needs are met.
When it comes to farming, the use of the term ‘sustainable’ can be a bit wishy-washy. Many wine-growing regions around the world don’t actually have a set rule of guidelines for ‘sustainable’ farming, meaning that any producer can simply slap the word on their bottle and use it to sell bottles.
At Volcanic Selections, we believe that sustainable farming is usually always done through organic farming practices (certified or not) and with as little chemical usage as possible. We understand that everyone’s vineyard circumstances are different, so we believe that adhering to what is best for your vineyard is key, so long as it does not involve putting excess chemicals and/or damaging treatments into the soil.
Diversity & Inclusivity
Farming is important, but we believe that the people involved are even more so (and this means everyone, from owners and proprietors to winemakers to vineyard workers and beyond). We believe that sustainability in and beyond the vineyard ensures that all workers are taken care of fairly and properly. This means that limitations are placed on work hours, a diverse array of faces are represented at all levels of business, and that wages are always fair.
*For the wine industry to remain sustainable, we believe that people of all races, backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, cultures, and ages must have a seat at the table. Diversity and inclusivity is one of the most important keys to a healthy and long-lasting global wine industry!*
When it comes to sustainable winemaking, responsible farming is only half of the battle. Many growers will go the limit to responsibly farm their fruit, then implement wasteful and unhealthy practices in the cellar. We believe that sustainability beyond the vineyard means thinking about the resources that we have and how we can maximize them to best ensure that future generations have access to them, too. This means limiting our water consumption, relying on solar energy when possible, limiting our CO2 emissions, sustainably packaging wines with recycled materials and beyond.
At Volcanic Selections, our commitment to sustainability in and beyond the vineyard is always a continuing discussion. We look forward to learning, sharing, and continuing to elaborate our definition of what ‘sustainability in and beyond the vineyard’ means to us!