Sustainability at Kernowine
Sustainability and ethical sourcing are at the heart of our decisions about what wines to source at Kernowine.
Obviously the wines have to taste good, but being kind to the planet, making sure we are taking steps to address the climate emergency and that our suppliers and winemakers/growers are doing the same, is of great importance to us as a company.
Grapes are a monocrop (or monoculture) – meaning they grow in the same piece of ground for many years and aren’t rotated, so the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides makes the soil dependant on those chemicals and can kill insects and birds and can pollute water sources. It can also be harmful to vineyard workers and people living close to farmland.
It’s undeniable that soil which is treated sustainably, either through organic, biodynamic or other natural practices, is richer in essential microbes and promotes the growth of healthy plants, which also leads to biodiversity of wildlife.
This is always easier in dry countries, as maritime climates like we have in the UK promote the growth of mildew and fungus on vines and grapes and most vineyards will never completely be able to stop using chemical sprays. The opposite is true in hotter countries, where water is at a premium but there is less of a disease pressure.
Many of the companies we use actively try to re-establish the natural equilibrium in their vineyards by using ideas such as pheromone traps which confuse the reproductive cycles of some destructive insects, reintroducing natural predators to kill other pests, sowing cover crops to reduce pesticide use and introducing natural habitats or wildlife corridors. New grape varieties which are resistant to certain pests or mildew are also being grown.
Other important environmental factors we look for when sourcing wine include the use of renewable energy in vineyard and office buildings, the reuse of water supplies, a reduction in packaging and recycling of waste, lighter glass bottles, shipping by sea (5 times less harmful than land transportation and 11 times less harmful than flights) and the promotion of sustainable wine tourism.
Many companies we use are also aiming to become carbon neutral (net zero carbon dioxide emissions) and take steps to offset their carbon use through scheme which see things like new trees planted.
As a company we also try to use wine companies and suppliers which source their wines ethically, treat their staff well, give them opportunities to progress and pay them fairly – especially the often seasonal grape pickers.
Fair trade means we and our suppliers promote the economic development of the communities we’re based in, through things like paying reasonable prices for grapes or using local suppliers wherever possible.
We also promote our products responsibly and tackle alcohol misuse through promoting awareness of its dangers and helping people make better choices about what they drink.
We champion diversity in the wine world and host a range of wines made by women. We are also an inclusive business and welcome people from all walks of life with a great glass of wine (or non-alcoholic substitute).