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Good news for May

Some reasons to be cheerful – our monthly report on some recent positive developments in wine sustainability. 

Good news for May

The Society’s Climate and Nature programme in the news

Our recent Climate and Nature programme was featured by The Drinks Business, who welcomed it as a positive initiative. The programme is now live and accepting applications from all the producers that we work with – you can read more about it here, and stay tuned for the winners to be announced in the autumn.

Human impact can be positive

As our Climate and Nature Programme shows, we believe that the right kind of human intervention can be key to building a more sustainable relationship with the planet. Author Sophie Yeo agrees, and has explored the role of humans in rewilding, saying ‘No one is living a prehistoric lifestyle anymore. But there are degrees of how we interact with the landscape and how harmful or positive our impact can be.’

Vine hybrid resilience in action

One of our producers, Chateau Thieuley, has updated us on their progress with vine hybrids. We recently published an article by Natasha Hughes MW which explained why hybrids are so important for making vineyards more resilient against climate change. It’s exciting to hear from one of our producers explaining why they too are trying hybrid varieties in their efforts to build healthier, stronger vineyards. Sylvie Courselle, third generation owner of Chateau Thieuley, tells us more about their Sauvage wines and why they represent their more sustainable practices:

Sylvie Courselle - Chateau Thieuley

"In the face of the ever-changing climate, what can we as wine growers do, what can we commit to? 

We are already seeking diversity in the vineyard. ‘Sauvage’ is the next step in this adventure, reflecting our determination to seek out new things for the environment and for flavour. Ever since man first encountered the vine, he has been creating new varieties. We wanted to try grape varieties that are naturally less susceptible to disease, better adapted to the lack of water during key periods. These hybrid varieties produce grapes with different tastes, different translations of our soils, climate and viticultural practices. 

The principle of hybridisation is simple and age-old; it is crossbreeding. Two varieties are first observed and then selected – one may have been cultivated for a long time, the other wild. The fertilisation of one by the other, during flowering; tests and more observations over several years; reactions, characteristics and taste of the fruit. The two varieties we have chosen were the red grape cabernet cortis and the white variety sauvignac. 

We have started on this journey to follow our intuition and our intention to advance our techniques and practices, making our first observations: there is less intervention in the vineyard, less soil compaction, grass growing wildly… It is already so satisfying becoming used to working this way, with the help of the life that abounds around our vines."

- Sylvie Courselle - Owner of Chateau Thieuley

Radford Dale is just one of our producers with a more sustainable approach to winemaking. Explore our whole selection of producers making a difference.

Producers making a difference

Explore our range of wines specially selected from producers making a difference.

Amy Matthews

Acting Senior Editor

Amy Matthews

Amy is currently Acting Senior Editor at The Wine Society, including editing the Sustainability Hub. She has worked in wine for nearly twenty years for importers, wine bar groups and national retailers, as well as freelance drinks writing and content consultancy.

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