Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Certified Sustainable" greenwashing doesn't remove arsenic

From the CSWA website. How can 57% of the state's wines be sustainable when only 14% of vineyards are?
People have been asking, "Why did you take down your blog post Monday?"

I wrote a 1000-word essay about the arsenic-in-wine story. My main conclusion was that I wasn't bothered by the recent revelations about arsenic, as long as there was no greenwashing.

Then I discovered there is plenty of greenwashing, as more than 2/3 of the wines listed in the lawsuit are made by "certified sustainable" wineries.

Yeah, right
Take a look at Fetzer's web page about sustainability. Or its 3400+ words about sustainable practices on the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance website.

Hey Fetzer, how'd that arsenic get in your Moscato and Pinot Grigio?

Take a look at Trinchero Family Estates' lengthy, beautiful TFE Green section of its website. Fun quote: "Trinchero is a leader and has taken a key role in educating other wineries about the environmentally friendly practices it has honed over the decades." -- The Wine Institute.

The website says, "At Trinchero Family Estates, 'going green' is more than just a catchphrase -- it's a way of life."

Hey Trinchero, how'd that arsenic get in your Bandit, Menage a Trois, Seaglass, Sutter Home and Wine Cube wines?

Made by a Certified Sustainable wine producer!
To be clear, I'm not personally worried about the arsenic in these wines, several of which I tasted last week for an upcoming story. If someone drinks enough Richards Wild Irish Rose (from CSWA Certified Sustainable producer Constellation Brands) to have an arsenic problem, that would be the least of their problems.

A thought from my original post: I'm not shocked when the cheapest wines on the bottom of the supermarket shelf turn out to be industrial products. Just don't tell me that they're something they're not.

Erika Szymanski tweeted, "sustainable doesn't equal healthy." True, but with grocery stores and wine lists boasting about their "organic, biodynamic and sustainable wines," do most people know that?

I don't think most consumers expect "certified sustainable" to mean "sustainably profitable by any means necessary."

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1 comment:

Jeff Siegel said...

Green in the wine business has long been overrated by the wine business. Consumers will buy green if there is a reason, but there has never been any reason to think green wine is different. It certainly doesn't taste any different.

But what would you expect from an industry that still uses heavy bottles for no other reason than it always has?