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As a young US diplomat working in Switzerland, Sandra Taylor experienced her wine “epiphany” while visiting wineries in the nearby Burgundy region of France. Not being very educated about wines at the time, except enjoying the wines she tasted at diplomatic dinners, she was excited to explore this region with her colleagues who were experienced wine lovers.
Her first discovery was the warm welcome they received from the owners of small vineyards and wine makers as they toured wineries. “Each day ended with a delicious dinner, starting with champagne as aperitif and a different wine with each course, often-older vintages of the wines we had tasted throughout the day. They tasted so differently with the food!” Since then Sandra’s wine travels and studies have allowed her to get to know the geography, geology, and distinct grapes and tastes of wines from different regions. “I have often fallen in love with the tantalizing mix of culture and cuisine – the food, the wine, coffee and tea — that are integral to a country’s identity. And I learned that for wine, it’s all about the grapes,” Sandra said.
GOOD GRAPES = GOOD WINE
Any viticulturist will tell you that you can’t make good wine from bad grapes. You can make bad wine from good grapes but not the other way around. Over the years Sandra’s work has evolved into environmental policy and corporate social responsibility, setting standards for sustainable agriculture in the coffee industry and applying the “triple bottom line” approach to business strategy.
It is quite clear that our ecological future depends upon agriculture as a key driver. Of all human activity, modern agriculture is the largest single contributor to global greenhouse gas (GHG) production, to deforestation and to water consumption. Agriculture affects biodiversity, climate change, waste, soil degradation and water scarcity. And agricultural workers and farmers often are poorly compensated for their labor
the oldest agricultural practices in Western history
The process of growing wine grapes, and wine making, among the oldest agricultural practices in Western history, are equally culpable in environmental degradation and social inequities. Yet wine is often overlooked by consumers and retailers in the discussion of sustainable practices. There is an increasing need for greater knowledge about how wine can be produced sustainably.
This site is designed to provide that information and education to consumers, and of course to introduce great tasting, sustainably produced wines.
This is an opportunity to invite consumers to join in making a difference in a highly regarded industry. So welcome to a discovery of sustainable wine – a chance to truly drink responsibly and to experience some delicious gems from wine makers who are also striving to preserve the land and communities for generations to come.
An internationally recognized expert on environmental sustainability, social responsibility and sustainable agriculture, who specializes in sustainability in food and beverage and consumer products companies. Taylor spent many years as a US diplomat and as an executive with global corporations where she directed Corporate Responsibility strategies and programs. She speaks French. Currently she is CEO of Sustainable Business International LLC, a consulting business that assists companies at various stages of environmental and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice.
Previously Taylor was senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility (CR) at Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle, Washington where she led the strategic development and creation of codes of conduct for sustainable agriculture and ethical standards for procurement of coffee, tea and cocoa and design of marketing concepts regarding sustainability.
Ms. Taylor’s has also studied the wine industry extensively and completed the French Wine Scholars course in 2010. She is a 2012 graduate of the Wine MBA program at The Bordeaux School of Management/Kedge Business School in Bordeaux, France.
Taylor’s book, THE BUSINESS OF SUSTAINABLE WINE to be published in 2017, explains a complex topic that is timely and of interest, both consumption interests and environmental interests.
Taylor’s unique blend of talents and leadership experience include legal training, corporate executive roles, marketing and international commercial project design Taylor is a public speaker on wine to business audiences, a wine educator and founder of Fine Wine Divas of Washington DC, an adventure in learning for women wine enthusiasts who attend monthly sessions to learn about wine regions, origins, sustainable growing practices and also how to identify and express their tastes and sensations in fine wine.
She is also a member of the Magnum Club, composed of women leaders in the global wine business the prestigious international invitation only network of leading women in wine, including select winery owners, wine distributors, retailers, wine writers and critics. The Magnum Club has sustainability as one of its core pillars and is an exceptional platform for finding solutions to questions of importance in the global wine industry.
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A Swedish-American sustainability consultant and wine journalist. Erica consults on environmental best practices in the vineyard, waste management and recycling. She has written extensively on sustainability in the wine industry for Meininger’s Wine Business International, Le Pan in Hong Kong, the leading Scandinavian wine magazine Allt om Vin and several others. She has written on wine for Decanter, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Searcher and Condé Nast, and is currently the Food & Wine columnist for prestigious ICON Magazine. She has contributed work to the Oxford Companion to Wine edited by Jancis Robinson.
Erica is a speaker on sustainability and marketing at business conferences including the international Wine2Wine.
In her consulting work, she has provided environmental and financial sustainability analysis and product and sales strategy for several sectors as well as trend analysis and communication. After working for several years as an equities analyst for Biotech, Cleantech and the pharmaceutical industry, she established herself in the fields of wine and food production with a strong emphasis on sustainability and viticulture. Previous employers include Accenture, L’Oreal and the Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Science.
Landin received a BSc in Biology from University of Richmond, VA and a MSc. degree in Medical Biology from University of Linkoping, Sweden with additional studies of languages and communications and course work at the Université Joseph Fourier in France. She has a MSc. in Medical Biology and has studied wine at the Wine and Spirits Education Trust Diploma level as well as Oenology through the University of California – Davis continuing education program.
She is fluent in five languages – a major advantage in the global wine industry.
Landin is a founding member and a leader of the Magnum Club, the prestigious international invitation only network of leading women in wine, including select winery owners, wine distributors, retailers, wine writers and critics.
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