People love wine. But that love can also lead to an immense strain on resources, with a need for more land, more water, and other resources to cater to the high demand. How then can we ensure that our wine consumption habits don’t lead to the end of the world?
The answer is simple – start supporting wine producers who’re dedicated to sustainability. And if you’re looking for a brand to start with, then look no further than English wine producer Nyetimber.
Situated in the rural heart of the South of England, Nyetimber is best known for their quality sparkling wine, using only the finest estate-grown fruit to craft our award-winning world-renowned wines. Nyetimber has a total of eleven vineyards covering 327 hectares across West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent, and produces around one million bottles of sparkling wine a year and exports account for 10% of its production.
But despite the seemingly whopping numbers, Nyetimber manages to balance it all out and keep their practices green. Nyetimber’s vision is to make the best sparkling wines in the world with a commitment to sustainability and biodiversity. From the flora and fauna that grow alongside the vines to the materials and energy expended in bottling and transporting the finished products, Nyetimber takes a 360 degree approach to the land, resources and carbon footprint involved in bringing the wine from the ground to the glass.
Nyetimber has a low input philosophy: natural methods come first, then minimal intervention only where needed. Some other sustainable practices Nyetimber has in place include how over one third of the Nyetimber Estate is natural ‘non-productive’ hedgerows, windbreaks, woods, garden, pond and meadow. The estate is also fauna-friendly, with managed wildlife corridors and 2,300 trees planted in 2020, and over 3,000 scheduled to be planted in 2021. Nyetimber’s vines are surrounded by natural habitats including native broadleaved woodlands which are managed and replanted, as well as wildflower meadows that provide food and nesting places for birds and insects. The estate creates wildlife corridors that give larger fauna passage across the land.
Plus, the mowing schedule for the cover crops between the rows of vines is fauna-friendly and sheep are used to crop the grass as an alternative to tractor-pulled mowers in winter; their droppings make a small but worthwhile contribution to the soil’s nutrients and the reduction in tractor use helps to minimise soil compaction.
Nothing goes to waste and no stone unturned when it comes to their practices – pruning waste and spent grape skins from winemaking are composted and returned to the vineyards, contributing to a process of natural fertilisation.
So the next time you feel like grabbing a glass of bubbly, take a moment to think about whether that bottle comes from a sustainable source. Do yourself and the planet a favour, and try a glass of Nyetimber, whether it’s their signature cuvée, rosé, or any other wine. You might just be surprised by how good green tastes.
More information about Nyetimber on their website here