Sustainable wines gaining popularity – in Asia

Sustainable wines gaining popularity – in Asia by Shanghai Paper

As Chinese wine consumers – and those across Southeast Asia – are growing a taste for wine, so too they are embracing sustainable wines.

Although global wine consumption continues to rise, disruption to the wine industry is resulting in changes to production methods, packaging, and marketing techniques. Discerning wine consumers are increasingly looking for good quality wine that is produced with minimal impact on the environment. As a result, new innovations are improving sustainability which is helping winemakers connect to a wider audience. 

Analysis of wine drinking by The International Wine and Spirit Research predicts that within the next three years, the global consumption of organic wine will reach 1 billion bottles. China’s demand for wine, increasingly being met through online sales, is still growing, and research undertaken by the University of Adelaide predicts a continuing rise in Southeast Asia’s consumption of fine wine. Meeting these consumer demands responsibly, but without compromising on taste and quality, is now a priority for wine producers. 

Accessing high-quality, sustainable wine

As wine consumption continues to rise in Asia, China has recently overtaken the US to become the world’s number one buyer of online wine, creating great opportunities for internet wine retailers. Through ordering a wine subscription box online, consumers can enjoy carefully selected, high-quality wine that is chosen to match personal preferences and taste profiles.

More wine producers are using sustainable farming techniques such as natural pest control, composting and crop rotation, that are not only ecologically beneficial but economically and socially responsible too. By bottling their own wine produced using these techniques, a company that fulfills subscription orders itself can ensure the delivery of quality wine that is produced in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner. 

Taking away additives

Reading wine labelling now goes beyond understanding and recognising the basic appellation credentials. Increasingly, consumers are also looking for signs that a wine is naturally produced or organically grown, reflecting the efforts made to reduce the environmental impact of wine production. Natural wines are made without chemical additives, and organic wines are grown from grapes untouched by pesticides or synthetic fertilisers.

As well as being more environmentally friendly, a recent paper looking at the reasons behind Chinese consumers’ organic wine purchase found that the health benefits of increasingly natural production methods were also highly appealing. Although wine manufacturers are not required to ingredients on wine labels, on wine that is produced naturally in the US, the Department of Agriculture’s organic label reassures consumers that the wine contains no added preservatives, sulphites, or sugar. 

Reducing the impact of transportation

Discerning taste in fine wine is increasingly being coupled with a desire to minimise environmental impact. Another way for consumers to reduce the environmental impact of wine drinking is to purchase more wine from local sources.

Although connections with French wine producers are strong, already 80 per cent of all the wine that is enjoyed in China is domestically produced. Half of this wine is produced in The Yantai-Penglai region alone, where over 140 different wineries can be found.

Through supporting local wine producers in the Yamanashi wine region in Tokyo, or buying from wineries based in the Asoke Valley near Bangkok, Japanese and Thai consumers can enjoy distinctive local wines while minimising the financial and environmental costs of transportation. However, with the introduction of biodegradable and plastic-free bottles made from innovative, sustainable materials, in the future these costs could be drastically reduced even when importing wine from abroad.

As global wine consumption continues to grow, discerning drinkers are increasingly looking look for evidence of organic production and sustainable manufacturing methods. Wine producers are responding by producing high quality wines grown without chemicals and unnecessary additives, and made easily available to both local and wider markets worldwide.

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