The Chilean wine industry has made a firm commitment to protecting the environment and social responsibility and as such has created an extensive Sustainability Program.
Sustainability is far more than a catch phrase. It is also much broader than taking an ecologically sound approach to grape growing. It involves close attention to detail in each of the three components required for a healthy company: the environment, the people, and the economic bottom line. In response to an industry-wide concern for each of these areas, Wines of Chile has taken a proactive role in guiding the nation’s wineries toward sustainable practices and has sponsored the development of a National Sustainability Code that establishes definitions and guidelines for environmental and social responsibility. Wineries that meet with rigorous standards will earn the right to include the official “Accredited Sustainable-Wine of Chile” seal on their labels.
Wines of Chile: the Natural Choice.
Wines of Chile Sustainability Program
Because sustainability is a complex, multi-faceted goal, Wines of Chile’s technical branch, the Wine Consortiums (Vinova and TecnoVid), embarked upon a long-term endeavor that began with a Sustainability Program consisting of a series of initiatives and projects to address the different areas included within the overarching concept of sustainability.
The cornerstone of the Program is the Sustainability Code, which establishes a framework the the entire value chain of wine production and identifies the different practices from the perspective of sustainability. Another important element of the Program is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which uses a specific methodology for addressing issues of Social Responsibility in the individual companies as well as within the national trade organization Vinos de Chile (of which Wines of Chile is a part). A third important part of the Sustainability Program is the Network of Meteorological Stations for Chile’s winegrowing valleys. This pioneering project seeks to establish the first network of meteorological stations in all of Chile’s winegrowing valleys. This project is important for achieving sustainability in that better understanding of the weather and climate allows for better management of key resources such as water, energy, and ultimately a more precise application of vineyard treatments when necessary.
For more information see: Wines of Chile Sustainability Program for the Chilean Wine Industry (English)
or Programa Nacional de Sustentabilidad de la Industria del Vino Chileno (Español).
Wines of Chile Sustainability Code
The Chilean wine industry has defined its first need for innovation to be sustainability, which is understood as the convergence of production processes that are environmentally friendly, socially equitable, and economically viable. To meet this need, Wines of Chile charged its Technical Consortiums (Vinnova and Technovid), in conjunction with the University of Talca, to develop a Sustainability Code specifically for the national wine industry. The outcome is the Wines of Chile Sustainability Code, which is now administered by the Consortiums and Chile’s major universities.
The WoC Sustainability Code was developed specifically for the Chilean wine industry to set standards and provide a tool for measuring various sustainable practices throughout the entire winemaking value chain and comprises a set of initiatives and projects that aim to guide the industry toward sustainability. The Code addresses the wine sector’s needs for practices with respect to the environment, social responsibility, and economic viability associated practices in three areas–Vineyard, Winery, and Community, and provides a Checklist of control points to be evaluated per area and a Manual with recommendations for each control point.
For more information on the Chilean wine industry’s Sustainability Code, see: Sustentavid
Wines of Chile GRI Reports
For more information see: Wines of Chile Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
Wines of Chile Meteorological Project
The Wines of Chile Technical Consortiums are implementing the first network of meteorological stations for the Chilean wine industry. The project consists of 33 meteorological stations to be installed in vineyards throughout the country’s entire wine producing areas to provide data for technical analysis by experts at the University of Talca.
The network will offer real-time meteorological information online with the general objective of improving the industry’s competitiveness by implementing bioclimatic indexes and processed climate information related to Chilean terroirs, which will aid in decision-making processes in vineyard operations with respect to cultivar selection and management as well as the effective use of resources.
This project includes the use of special software that manages a large number of meteorological stations and gathers significant volumes of data. The processed information will provide indexes for comparing the influence zones of each of the country’s meteorological stations and contrasting this data with information from around the world with respect to the climatic requirements of different vine cultivars to orient winemakers in managing different varieties in their current production areas and in choosing cultivars for better adaptation when planting new vineyards.
Training and on-going communication will be provided for participating wineries to ensure the best use of the project’s sophisticated tools and help them take the best advantage of the detailed climate information in their mid- and long-term planning.
The valuable information provided by the Meteorological Project will improve the competitiveness of the Chilean wine industry by generating an image of a high quality wine producer that offers wines that express the uniqueness of the different agro climatic regions of our country.
For more information see: Network of Meteorological Stations for Chile’s Winegrowing Valleys (English) and
Wines of Chile Energy Efficiency in the Winery, Climate Change and Carbon Footprint
The Project “Energy and Climate Change: Exports sizing and competitiveness increase in the wine industry” aimed to channel the interest of the Chilean wine companies in climate change and energy efficiency in a study that contributed technical proposals to confront these subjects nationwide.
The process began with an analysis of the industry’s most energy-intensive and CO2 emission-prone processes and a review of the different opportunities for improvement in the different stages of wine production. The next step was to synthesize the available integral diagnosis tools to develop better means of managing energy and reducing greenhouse gas emission effect (GHG). The best practices in these issues, both in Chile and abroad, were gathered. The project¡s framework called for an intensification of the understanding of the wine industry’s energy flow, which represents an innovative solution to the measuring technology for this industry in particular.
For more information see: Energy Efficiency in the Winery, Climate Change and Carbon Footprint