In an article worthy of Pablo, the New York Times today brings our attention to a fascinating study by University of Palermo researches into the environmental cost of wine. The research team spent most of a year at a particular Sicilian vineyard measuring every imaginable facet of the winemaking process from pesticide use to labeling of bottles. The findings:
The production of a bottle of Terre della Baronia created more than a pound of waste and put 16 grams of sulfur dioxide into the air. Producing the 2004 vintage of 100,000 bottles generated 22,000 pounds of plastic waste, 11,000 pounds of paper and oceans of wastewater.
The findings also show that, despite large companies being labeled cuprits, 60% of commercial waste comes from smaller businesses. As a result, this particular winemaker has already made changes in several areas of the process to be less wasteful, and more profitable. But more importantly, the process that was used on the winery can be duplicated in many operations, agricultural and not. Plans are underway for a database of findings. Full article here.