Carbon Neutral Wine, Without Compromise

“What we’ve really tried to do here is produce great wine, which is something we are not willing to compromise on but do it slightly differently…” – Simon Back

The National Academy of Sciences expects climate change to shift wine producing regions over the next 40 years. While vineyards like Backsberg Estate in South Africa seek to prevent and mitigate some of these impacts, a red Bordeaux or a Napa Chardonnay may eventually be a thing of the past.

Backsberg Estate is South Africa’s first carbon neutral vineyard. As Living on Earth recently reported, Backsberg’s goal is to continue producing great wine, with a few adaptations. To reach this goal, Backsberg conducted a carbon audit on farming and winemaking activities. Some of their activities include planting trees for carbon sequestration, diversifying crops, and producing biodiesel on-site.

This climate shift could be bad news for my hometown of Charlottesville, VA. As part of the Monticello American Viticultural Area, local vineyards draw tourists and locals alike. Not only do we enjoy our Viogniers, but concerts and gatherings at local vineyards are a way of life. I wonder how our local varietals and wineries will be impacted?

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