One Bubbly Problem: Soil Erosion in Italy

Italy is known for its delicious Prosecco – a sparkling wine from Italy that is similar to champagne.  As its popularity expands, so does the “footprint” of this wine — and a new study says it is unsustainable at its current rate of growth.  The Washington Post reports that increasing demand for the prosecco seems to be sapping northeastern Italy’s vineyards of precious soil — 400 million kilograms of it per year — according to the study.  According to The Post, if too much earth washes away with rain and irrigation in northern Italy, it could jeopardize the future of the region’s vineyards, which produce 90 million bottles of high-quality prosecco every year.  The study’s authors found that the industry was responsible for 74 percent of the region’s total soil erosion, and then calculated the annual soil footprint per bottle: about 4.4 kilograms.  Bummer!  I (Monica) am doing some “field” reporting for ODP in Italy this week.  I was just about to try a glass.  Chianti perhaps instead?

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