The modern wine industry continues to practice slavery, colonialism and 21 st century feudalism.Just this year, thousands of migrant workers were forced to harvest through dangerous smoke from California wildfires without protection - a devastating echo to the origin of California 's wine industry, built on the backs(and the stolen lands) of indentured and enslaved Native Americans.While BIPOC and Latinx laborers make up the majority of vineyard workers, at the professional and owner level they represent less than 1 % .
Wine production is also far from environmentally friendly - especially in traditional winemaking regions of the United States.Even organic vineyards have the same, and often higher, CO2 output as conventional producers.Growers(especially in California where 90 % of our domestic wine is produced) are left fighting a changing climate with excessive water use, pesticides and fertilizers.
A problem plaguing winemaking and the beverage industry at large is the necessary evil of packaging - neither glass nor can present clean and sustainable options.Glass can be relatively environmentally friendly to make however it 's extremely heavy to transport.Aluminum helps in the weight category and can make use of recycled materials, but new aluminum mining is a scorched earth practice causing water, air and soil pollution.
Wine is seeing its fair share of greenwashing - vignerons practicing and marketing more sustainable ecological growing practices.Behind the label, however, you 'll still find a white - washed, elitist and complicit industry.Look no further than natural wine darling Valentina Passalcqua and the dystopian universe exposed by the modern day slave labor of her benefactor father.
Nepotism and privilege are the foundation of the modern wine industry.
Well, we 're OVER it.
It 's up to us to redefine and reclaim next world wine. Who can grow and make wine ? Who are the tastemakers ? Is wine produced across the country really "local" ? What does sustainability look like from the soil to the vineyard to winery ? What does equity look like for workers at every level ?