carboNZero Riesling: what does it mean?
One of the bottles opened last night was a Grove Mill Riesling 2007 Marlborough, New Zealand. A very attractive, intense, piercing Riesling full of racy lime and grapefruit, with the high acid nicely countered by some residual sugar. A good buy at £8.99 from Threhser.
Prominently displayed on the label was the carboNZero logo, advertising that this wine was carbon neutral. But what exactly, in practical terms does this mean? And are we going to be seeing increasing numbers of wines sold on a green marketing ticket?
Grove Mill's website gives some more information. 'carboNZero' is managed by Landcare Research New Zealand. Grove Mill itself is a brand owned by the New Zealand Wine Company (NZWC), and they took three steps to achieve this certification. First they measured their carbon footprint. Then they tried to reduce it as much as possible. And the balance they offset. 'For NZWC we were able to purchase credits from a local carbon farmer, Ron Marriott, in the Marlborough Sounds', says the website. A 'carbon farmer'? I guess, if enough people are wanting to offset their emissions, then there's money to be made by planting trees on land you own.
When you see a wine company making a fuss on their label about their environmental credentials, it's easy to feel a bit cynical about their motivations. But the NZWC are doing this properly, and it's good to see that there's some substance behing the marketing talk.