Sustainability Hot Topic At BCWGC Conference

Sustainability Hot Topic at BCWGC Conference

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Dr. Greg Jones

This summer the BC Wine Grape Council and Sustainable Winegrowing BC (SWBC) hosted the busy Enology & Viticulture Conference and Trade Show. Sustainability was the hot topic, and the wine world weighed in with insights and innovations over two solid days of learning and networking.  

Guest speakers from across the globe joined local experts to weigh in on a variety of topics related to sustainability.

Dr. Greg Jones, a research climatologist specializing in the climatology of viticulture from the Evenstad Center for Wine Education at Linfield College, Oregon, spoke about climate change forecasts and what they mean for grape varietal selection and vineyard management.

Economist Mike Veseth, top authority on global wine markets and author of Wine Wars, puzzled out the question: does organic or sustainability certification mean that wineries can charge more per bottle?

Wine Anorak journalist and author Dr. Jamie Goode talked about what he considers to be “authentic wine”, the natural wine movement and the sustainable practices that support authenticity.

Florence Gras from the French Groupe ICV showcased many innovations and strategies form French wineries grappling with sustainability challenges.

Several British Columbian researchers shared their latest findings. The University of British Columbia’s researcher Dr. Simone Castellarin shared his work on hybrid grapes and their applications for changing climate, while Dr. Mehdi Sharifi talked about using natural products to reduce ground covers and vine competition.

Thomas Divney from the global Sustainable Agriculture Network shared best practices in certification, as Sustainable Winegrowing BC (SWBC) is on the cusp of launching BC’s first sustainability certification program. SWBC Program Manager Katie Pease also shared the new sustainability best practices standards for grape growing and winemaking.

The next Enology & Viticulture Conference and Trade Show will be held in Penticton in 2021. Sign up for the BC Wine Grape Council’s 2021 conference updates.

~ Arnica Rowan