How ‘Mindful Winemaking’ taps into on-trade’s changing ethics

biodynamics, Organic, sustainability
Is now the time to highlight subtle differences? Or collectively market greener wines?

The following is an exert from a piece I wrote for The Buyer recently on the UK wine buyers buzz words of the day as we move towards a greener future for wine. Comments welcome 🙂

“Towards the end of my time in the office job, I used to sneak out for an hour a week and head to Harley Street to see a wonderful and wonderfully expensive (God bless medical insurance) psychotherapist. At the time it was about mentally patching me up enough to get back to the desk, a bit like giving a sports person a shot of painkiller, strap the leg up, and send them back on the pitch. Over my time with her it got more in depth and hugely useful, and one of the best things was a book she gave me on Mindfulness.

These days you see the word everywhere, but this was six or seven years ago and relatively new. The whole premise of it is about being more thoughtful about your day, the situations you’re in, and how you react to them. When you’re teaching yourself you end up staring at raisins for a ridiculously long time, or battling your willpower to not just scoff down a chocolate bar, instead letting it melt in your mouth and enjoying the sensations. You’re trying to engage your brain to appreciate every moment of your day, and not get down about your past, or anxious about your future. It might not work for everyone, but it did for me and I love it.

Fast forward six or seven years and I’m staring at a tasting booklet from Bibendum with “Mindful Winemaking” emblazoned upon it. It’s a bit of a worry as it’s one of the buzzwords of the day and I was sitting there slightly dubious that they were just ripping it off for the sake of it. But then, I thought, what they’re using it for makes a lot of sense…”


Could Green Algae Give Copper Spray The Blues?


One of the biggest threats to vines are fungal infections.  The two most notorious are Powdery and Downy mildew, the former growing in warm and humid conditions, the later in the cool and damp. Either way at some point in the year if you’re in a marginal climate, like Bordeaux for example, you’re in danger of one or both.  And current treatments are contentious.

The copper compound treatments used, known as Bouillie Bordelaise, have been around for nearly a couple of centuries.  The hard metal solution acts as a buffer to stop fungal spores taking hold of the leaves. This is the famous blue powder you see across vineyards across the world.