A new study analyzing transportation methods including container ships, trucks, and planes suggests East Coasters should take home the bottle from Bordeaux--not the Napa Valley tipple. Using an imaginary line running down Ohio, wine blogger Tyler Colman, Ph.D. A.K.A. Dr. Vino and sustainability metrics specialist Pablo Paster examined the carbon footprint of wine.
While not specifically a life cycle inventory (LCI), which gives us the green lowdown on energy consumption, solid waste generation, atmospheric emissions, and waterborne emissions, the study offers an in-depth look at greenhouse gas emissions from wine production and distribution.The carbon intensity of several different wines (normalized to the 750 ml
bottle, grams of CO2/tkm)
Notable findings include:
• Organic does not mean less carbon
• Bigger is better: Go for the magnum, not the half bottle
• Tetra-Pak or bag-in-a-box is better than glass (read a full study on this here)
Colman and Paster acknowledge quality is naturally a factor for those who don't have world-renowned vineyards nearby:
"While "drink locally" is one finding that may not be problematic for residents of
California or Bordeaux, it may give New Yorkers or Miamians pause.
but say environmentally-conscious transportation can make all the difference:
"However, not all miles are the same, since shipping is better than trucking, which in turn is better than air freight, and packaging matters too. As a result, of our three bottles, despite coming from half-way around the world, consuming a glass of wine from a magnum of Yellow Tail has a third less carbon emissions per once than a cult winery from Napa. "