The Carbon Footprint of Wine in National Geographic

With everyone trying to tighten their carbon belts these days, it would seem appropriate for Americans to favor a glass of red or white from Napa in an effort to cut down on emissions.  But new research suggests that it may be greener to say oui to some Bordeaux.

Using figures from a study by Tyler Colman, National Geographic offers a compelling visual comparison of the carbon footprint created in shipping a standard 750ml bottle of wine from four major wine-producing regions to three U.S. cities.  The results are a bit surprising.

In New York, it is most carbon-efficient to choose wine from Bordeaux.  Although a bottle of French wine has to travel further than one from Napa, the energy expended by a transport ship is far less than a truck making the entire trip on the ground.  Ground transport is unavoidable in Chicago, but consumers there are still better off with wines from France, Australia or Chile.  Even in LA, wine from Napa isn’t the greenest option, as wine shipped from Chile creates less carbon emissions.


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