There are steps we can take to be kinder to the Earth as it pertains to wine-drinking habits — seeing as grape-growing and winemaking impact the planet, and rarely for the better, it’s worth considering when picking out your next bottle of wine.

A jaunt through wine country typically rewards visitors with picturesque rolling fields of rows of vines, with healthy-looking, well-manicured plants soaking up the sun as the fruit ripens. But there’s typically way more going on in those vineyards than simple photosynthesis.

Grape vines produce the best fruit when they’re planted in warm, dry climates where they have to work hard to get moisture, with roots burrowing deep into the soil in search of water. When that water’s not there in decent supply and rain is in short supply, grape growers are often forced to pipe in water to irrigate vines — and it can take a whole lot of this precious resource to keep the plants healthy.

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