Carbon footprint in Wine.

The cultivation of the vine and the production of wine constitute one of the oldest and most important industries today in the agri-food sector, which provides important economic benefits in many regions around the world.

The current greater environmental awareness derived from climate change is leading many wine companies to move towards alternative grape and wine production systems that are more respectful with the environment , improving their production processes through the reduction of their most polluting emissions with the environment. (Carballo-Penela et al., 2009).

What is the carbon footprint in wine?

The carbon footprint (Figure 1) is a measure of the set of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxide, HFCs, PFCs, and sulfur hexafluoride) emitted directly or indirectly by an individual, company, product, etc. as a consequence of a certain activity, which allows determining its contribution to global climate change (Pandey et al., 2010).

How is the carbon footprint in viticulture quantified?

Thus, by calculating this measure, it is possible to identify and quantify the most important sources of greenhouse gases in a certain production process, allowing to know and control the most critical points to put the relevant measures and thus achieve a more respectful system with the environment. environment that surrounds us.

Origin of greenhouse gas emissions in the wine sector:

Carbon footprint in wine: Given its uniqueness, in the wine sector there are greenhouse gas emissions of very diverse origin , which can be found in all stages of the winemaking process (Rugani et al., 2013):

1- Emissions inherent to the implementation of the vineyard / winery : change in land use.
2- Emissions of vine cultivation: tillage, pruning, phytosanitary treatments, harvest, use of machinery, etc.
3- Emissions of winemaking: reception of grapes in the winery, destemming, pressing, fermentations, etc.
4- Emissions of bottling: bottle washing, bottle filling, encapsulation, packaging, palletizing of boxes, etc.
5- Emissions of commercialization: distribution in the local and international market.
6-Emissions of use : conservation and consumption of wine.
7- Emissions of the end of life of the product : management of waste generated during vine cultivation, wine making, bottling, etc.

On average, it is estimated that the carbon footprint generated during the production process of a generic wine bottle is 2.2 ± 1.3 kg CO2 , although there is a great variation in this value due to the various technological, geographical and viticultural conditions that exist. (Rugani et al., 2013).

The carbon footprint generated during the production process of a generic wine bottle is 2.2 ± 1.3 kg CO2.

Interestingly, and although there is great variability, white wines generally have slightly higher carbon footprint values ​​than red wines, probably due to the uniqueness of their production.

Likewise, the carbon footprint linked to the production of organic wines represents 75% less than the traditional production system, confirming the greater sustainability of this production system.

The carbon footprint linked to the production of organic wines is 75% less.

Of the aforementioned stages, the emissions related to the cultivation of the vine , the bottling process (Figure 2) and the end of life of the product are those that contribute most significantly to the carbon footprint (Rugani et al., 2013 ), which is why they are proposed as the stages of greatest interest to reduce the impact of the production of a bottle of wine on the environment.

More information: Measuring the carbon footprint in wine.

University School of Agricultural Technical Engineering. Polytechnic University of Madrid.

How big is wine’s carbon footprint, and how can technology reduce it?


Dr. Sofia Seccombe

My name is Dr. Sofia Seccombe, and in this small section, I want to tell you who I am and why I started this project. I don't want to bore you, but I consider that it is an important part of godlywine. It serves as an exercise in transparency so that the person who reads the articles can be sure that the information is reliable.

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