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Do you like your eggs free-range, your chicken corn-fed and your vegetables, organic? Then you probably would like to apply that same preference to your wines. Whether for environmental reasons or for your health, or both, the “trends” in green wines have firmly taken hold. But are you confused by all of the hype? Would you like to know the difference between wines that are “natural”, “sustainable”, “green”, “bio-dynamic”, “organic”, “vegetarian”, “eco-friendly”, “dry-farmed” and “carbon neutral”? You will not be surprised to know that these are not new practices … just new names given to the old ways of making wine properly. As with the food industry, the wine industry, too, has succumbed to the allure of the mass market and technical convenience. Let award-wining wine writer, judge and author, Linda Johnson-Bell, answer all of your questions as you sample a few examples of these wines.

Linda is the CEO of Oxford’s Wine and Climate Change Institute and her most recent book is “WINE AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Winemaking in A New World.”

Monday, October 22nd at 7 – 9pm

Upper Wolvercote, Oxford

£20 per person including wine




October 24, 2017

2017 WELSH WINE AWARDS – 7th November

with Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs

Vale of Glamorgan – This year’s Welsh Vineyard Association’s annual awards will again be held at Llanerch Vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan, with Special Guest, Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs. The AM will be accompanied by Dorian Davies, the new Food and Drink representative.

Welsh wine-making has increased 70 per cent over the past decade as production soars to more than 100,000 bottles a year. (Welsh Wine is the Toast of Bordeaux, The Telegraph, May 2016).

 “The interest in Welsh Wines is growing as the quality improves and production is set to double by 2020.” – Robb Merchant, WVA Chairman.

The expert judging panel is comprised of Linda Johnson-Bell, wine judge, author, and founder of The Wine and Climate Change Institute, Sue Tolson, wine educator, judge and editor of the popular website,, and Dylan Rowlands, Welsh radio and TV personality, co-author and owner of the award-winning wine merchant and bar, Dylanwad. They will be tasting over 40 wines from 10 vineyards.

This year’s event will have the added addition of a TRADE &  PRESS tasting in the afternoon (14.00 – 16.00). Contact Robb Merchant if you wish to attend.

For more information about the Awards or the Welsh Vineyards Association, please contact Robb Merchant at 01873 821 443 or at For Press enquiries, please contact Linda Johnson-Bell at or 07449 179 487.

Water Footprints of Six Major Luxury Crops

Wine’s average global water footprint may not be enormous compared to other crops, or even other beverages, but it ranks as the most important fruit crop in the world in terms of production and economic importance (Cramer et al. 2006 and Vivier and Pretorious 2002). This is a footprint clad in Louboutins. Wine’s footprint is also unique in that it varies dramatically according to country and even region. More so than any other crop. Further, the blue water component (irrigation) is the variable in the equation that is the most dramatically variable. So, where coffee or tea have amongst the highest global average embedded water content (blue and green), the water use is predominantly green water, not blue.

Though coffee, tea and rice – responsible for about 23 percent of the world’s blue and green crop water use – are notorious water guzzlers, the majority of these crops are grown using green water which has less of an impact on the environment than the use of blue water. In contrast, cotton, which only uses about 2% of agricultural water (green and blue), is 70 percent irrigated. Only about 15 percent of the world’s crops are irrigated, but this tiny group is responsible for 70 percent of the world’s blue water (freshwater) withdrawals” (Waterwise 2007), while 22 percent of the world’s freshwater is used for industry and 8 percent for domestic use. And when we remember that over 80% of the world’s vineyards are irrigated, and as both the need for irrigation in current planted acreage increases as well as the additional acreage that will need irrigation as the warming trend continues, a theme emerges.

L.J. Johnson-Bell.