W hen the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, there was a deafening silence from governments. Perhaps the magnitude of the problem was too overwhelming for a response – the IPCC authors warn that we have only about 12 years to limit the damage we’re doing to the planet. If not, the kind of droughts, floods and storms that we’ve seen in the past few years will become more frequent, longer and more destructive. The wine industry has, by and large, been an active champion of good environmental stewardship. We discussed climate change long before many other agricultural industries, and entire regions have looked into how they can reduce carbon use.
We still, however, do one thing that causes real damage to the environment:
the collective wine trade spends a lot of time in the air. Between us, we have
enough Frequent Flyer miles to buy our own Air Wine. It’s understandable –
market visits are integral to the export business and there’s no substitute for
being physically present. Also, many people in wine love the thrill of exploring
new regions. Obviously, travelling is a critical part of the way this industry operates.
Winemakers need to press the flesh. Opinion formers need to know what’s
going on. Almost everybody needs to go to ProWein. But there’s no getting
round it – we chew up plane fuel like crazy. It’s time to start looking at more
Skype conferences. And perhaps we need an industry tree planting scheme. As
for me, I’ve looked at next year’s schedule and have already seen ways to travel
by train, not plane.
Introducing Breakthrough Brands
This issue we’re running the first of a two-part series, looking at the brands
that broke through. Maybe they were brands that launched a whole new category,
or overturned the one they were in, or proved to have longevity. Some of the wines are newcomers while many are backed by history. This series will be an annual event and we look forward to showcasing some of the most interesting developments in brand creation. Our popular Who’s Who lists are also back, including a look at South Korea,while the Power List has Debra Meiburg MW introducing the top influencers in China. Anton Moiseenko looks at what the Russians are drinking, while several writers tackle the question of what market data is available to the wine industry – who the research houses are, and how they work.
Until next time,
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