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With half-empty bottles, Australian winemaker calls for specific action on climate change

Research warns that a 2°C rise in temperature could render 56% of existing wine-growing areas unsuitable for cultivating wine grapes. In Australia, the climate will soon have changed too much to continue growing grapes used to make Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and other favorites. Ampersand Estates, an Australian winery, is confronting that grave prospect with Tomorrow's Vintage, a bottled series that only comes partially filled.

The 2040 bottle is 86% full to reflect the percentage of wine-growing regions projected to be usable by that year. The 2080 is only 56% full. And the bottle marked 2100 is less than half-full, at 44%. The bottles are on display at tasting events and in select stores. But Ampersand's approach doesn't stop at creating awareness among oenophiles. Unlike the half-full/half-empty bottles on display, the 2021 release of Tomorrow's Vintage is available for purchase and is being pitched as the first wine paired with a conservation agreement.

The back of the bottle — a Shiraz — explains that ordinary landowning citizens can take action by signing a conservation agreement with an organization like Australia's Wildlife Land Trust. Also known as conservation easements, these legally binding documents protect a property's ecological integrity forever, even if the land changes hands, by prohibiting environmentally harmful activities. Limiting damage helps safeguard ecosystems, including those where Australia's grapes are grown.

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By directly linking the quality and availability of Australian wine – a product many consumers care deeply about – to the health of ecosystems, Ampersand Estates effectively makes the climate crisis personally relevant to their audience. As a tangible representation of how climate change will impact their future enjoyment, the partially filled bottles intensify that realization. Tomorrow's Vintage turns a distant, often abstract issue into something immediate and concrete — consumers who routinely skim past headlines about rising temperatures or melting ice caps might pause at the thought of their favorite wine regions becoming barren.

The second prong of the campaign is where awareness is turned into lasting impact. By encouraging landowning customers to sign a conservation agreement, Ampersand offers a way for people to actively participate in environmental protection efforts, potentially turning a moment of curiosity or concern into a long-term force for good. Could your brand frame an environmental issue in terms that deeply resonate with your audience, while spurring them to take specific and genuinely impactful action?