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SUSTAINABILITY IN WINE

sostenibilità-nel-vino-più-reale-che-comunicata-Violante-CinelliColombini-Casato-Prime-Donne-Montalcino-Toscana

SUSTAINABILITY IN WINE

Many wineries are committed to sustainability but few are capable of communicating it because they make ethical choices out of conviction and not out of marketing

 

Sustainability in wine : more real but less communicated - Fattoria del Colle - Tuscany

Sustainability in wine : more real but less communicated – Fattoria del Colle – Tuscany

by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

The situation is reversed but resembles that of Giulio Cesare’s wife, Pompea when her lover, Claudius, entered their home during the celebrations in honour of the goddess Bona. In the divorce process Cesare made no mention of the fact and when asked for a reason he replied that his wife should not even be touched by the suspicion.

Which meant that it was not enough that she was honest but she also had to appear honest.

 

SUSTAINABILITY IN WINE IS REAL BUT LESS COMMUNICATED

As regards to sustainability in wine, the reverse is true. As WineNews rightly titled << Sustainability in wine in Italy: many do it, fewer communicate it well >>. 

In fact, the study published in “Sustainability” in 2021 shows how for many producers (in this case female producers) respect for the environment, support for local communities… is a way of living and working, not a marketing tool. The analysis was carried out by Marta Galli, heir to the well-known Amarone dynasty of the Le Ragose winery and PhD student at the University of the Sacred Heart of Milan, who worked on a sample of 23 interviews together with professors Roberta Sebastiani and Alessia Anzivino of the same university.

 

MARTA GALLI AND THE FIRST SURVEY ON SUSTAINABILITY IN 23 FEMALE OWNED WINERIES

Marta concludes that eco-sustainable choices are more widespread than they appear because they are not put in the spotlight.

The survey “Certified but little communicated sustainability: the necessary turnaround for wine brands”, by Altis and Opera of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, comes to more or less the same result, which analysed practices and communication of 70 leading wineries in Italy.

 

THE NEW SURVEY ON 70 WINERIES CONFIRMS: SUSTAINABILITY IN WINE IS MORE SUBSTANCE THAN APPEARANCE

Both the first and second surveys show bureaucracy as the first and biggest stumbling block. Too many agencies, acronyms, certification systems, but above all too many sheets and too much time necessary to fill them. Hence the result is that many sustainability practices are not certified and therefore cannot be communicated to the consumer. After food, present in 57% of the sample, the most widespread certifications (53%) are those of sustainability (above all Equalitas and Viva) especially among private wineries, followed by environmental sustainability certifications (46%) present above all in cooperatives. Until now, certifications on social sustainability (i.e. related to health, safety at work, gender equality …) are less used, present only in 21% of cases and particularly among producers with their own vineyards.

The web site is the tool through which eco-sustainable choices are most often communicated. 78% of cooperatives and 48% of private wineries have a section specifically dedicated to this in their web space. Therefore there are those who work well but don’t say it. In fact, even the number of those who present their environmental choices in a report is very low: 18 wineries out of 70.

 

WE, LIKE MANY WINERIES, MAKE SUSTAINABLE CHOICES AND DON’T COMMUNICATE THEM MUCH

I must confess that I am among the “invisible virtuosos”. We are BIO, we do many actions on social sustainability – the Casato Prime Donne Award, and actions on gender equality – but we do not have a section on sustainability on the site and we do not put BIO signs near the vineyards. However as Marta Galli rightly observed, the choices regarding environmental, social and economic sustainability are part of us, of our way of being and are not dictated by marketing. I like to think that it is a widespread attitude especially among women because << We are so sweetly complicated / More and more excited, delicate >> as Fiorella Mannoia sings.