The Face Behind Our Red Wine: Meet Mickaël Alborghetti
Ever wondered who was responsible for making your favorite wines? For Earth Day, we wanted to introduce you to one of our sustainable winemakers, to help put a face to the name. Meet Mickaël Alborghetti, a third-generation winemaker living and working in Bordeaux, France. He owns and operates one of the most sustainable wineries in all of France, EthicDrinks, a carbon neutral vineyard that makes our Red blend, along with many of the limited edition bottles we've released over the seasons. Read the interview below to hear more about how he started his winery, and why sustainable winemaking is so important to him.
Hi Mickaël! Tell us about yourself. What was it like growing up in a family of winemakers?
I grew up in a family of winegrowers on my maternal side. My grandfather has vines in Burgundy, a key wine region in France. It was magical ! I remember when I was a child I used to run among the vines, I had fun with nature and I watched the harvest… It was incredible to witness and a very good learning experience.
Did you always know you wanted to work in wine?
Yes. The world of wine attracted me from a young age because I grew up around it, even though I knew I’d have to work hard. My father was an environmental activist, too, so I also learned about the importance of sustainability in my childhood. It was natural for me to take an interest in wine, and to train myself even more to make them sustainably.
Has sustainability always been important to you?
Yes, it has always been important to me because of my father. I helped him with his environmental activism growing up—I put up posters with him and I listened to the discussions that he was a part of. I learned a lot more about the environment in school, too.
Was there ever a specific moment you can remember that changed the way you viewed your relationship to the environment?
A moment I can remember clearly was when my wife (and co-founder) Camille and I went to Bali: we saw so much plastic on the beaches! It really struck us. We said to ourselves that we really had to change things, and had to play a role in protecting the environment.
What made you decided to start EthicDrinks?
It's really that moment on that Bali trip where everything changed for me and where the decision was made. I had always wanted to create something, but I was waiting for the right moment and the right idea. I didn't just want to make and sell wine, I wanted to create something that I felt strongly about, that would make my family proud and that wouldn't hurt the planet.
For me, sustainable winemaking is done from the vine to the glass. The grapes of course, and the soil, are important, but you also have to take into account things you don't think of, like production materials.
Are there any aspects of sustainable winemaking that often go overlooked that you'd like to share?
We also take into account packaging, transport and all the little things that consumers don’t see. You really have to think about the production chain and decide what will have the least impact on the environment. This requires constantly asking questions, and always finding the best option.
Tell us about the mission of EthicDrinks. Could you share some of the different ways you've committed to operating in an environmentally-friendly way?
EthicDrinks is committed to making organic wines. We are a company with a mission—our goal is to make wines that respect the environment. It’s better for the planet and for our consumers. We select different grape varieties and make our own wine blends in Bordeaux. Each part of our company has been analyzed and designed to have the least impact on the environment: zero plastic packaging, lighter bottles, organic corks, labels made of recycled paper and glued with vegetable glue, carbon neutral transport, committed to NGOs… the list goes on. We work with WWF and Sea Shepherd, and we donate a part of our sales to protect the biodiversity in our oceans.
What made you decide to partner with Avaline?
We are Avaline’s partners because they’re interested in making transparently-produced wines. This is what we are looking for in a partner, because we only work with people who care about protecting the environment.
What is your favorite wine you've made for Avaline?
I really love the Red blend. It’s a very balanced wine that comes from the south of France. It is supple, delicate, you can enjoy this wine for an aperitif or a dinner with friends. It’s delicious and I love this blend to share with family and friends for a good time. Cheers to the planet!
"Sustainable winemaking is done from the vine to the glass."
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