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Save the Planet – Drink More Wine!

Save the Planet – Drink More Wine!

blog , Laurita Winery , wine advice , Wine Science 🕔December 26, 2017 0 comments

Is your wine green?

No… not like that.

We mean, is your wine beneficial – or at least not harmful – to the environment? According to EcoWatch, it can be, depending on how it opens. Turns out there’s more to love about popping a cork than just the satisfying sound of it! (Although the sound of a cork popping does just sing to us. We even considered setting it as the notification for our texts. Anyway.)

According to the Cork Forest Conservation Alliance, producing one screw cap wine stopper creates 24 times more CO2 than producing one cork stopper. And while screw caps or synthetic corks require more energy to produce, a natural cork can also claim some carbon offset benefits, since the parent tree stays alive. Also, unlike natural corks, many synthetic wine stoppers are made from materials that are not biodegradable and are not sustainably sourced.

And that’s not all.

As the trend turns away from natural cork, cork-oak forests aren’t being maintained at the levels they once were. These forests are important for multiple reasons.

Cork-oak forests do a sterling job of absorbing all that nasty carbon dioxide we keep insisting on pumping into the atmosphere. In Portugal alone (which is the country with the largest share of cork-oak forest), some ten million tons of CO2 are absorbed by cork oak trees annually.

Beyond their ability to clean up our mess, the forests also diverse habitat that shelters many endangered species.

Scientists consider Mediterranean cork-oak forests among the most bio-diverse forests in the world. The United Nations has classified them as one of the planet’s “25 Biodiversity Hot Spots.”

We’d thought about corks with regard to storage, flavor, and other aspects of the wine drinking experience. We’d never thought of them as being green.

There’s an old expression in Portugal that goes, “Whoever cares for their grandchildren plants a cork-oak tree.” Maybe us wine drinkers in other countries should adopt and change the expression to make it our own, “Whoever cares for their grandchildren should drink wine—with a cork stopper.”

We like it.

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