Concha y Toro Pushes for Sustainable Winemaking

Day+3,+Chile,+Santigo+-+Concha+y+Toro,+Winery,+Dec+23,+2008+012Recent years have shown various industries begin to answer the call for sustainability, developing methods that make good use of the resources presented to them, and producing products of excellent quality at the same time. The switch to sustainable methods affected the food industry, the clothing industry, and most recently, the wine industry.

In the United States, many wineries have already started on sustainable practices. California has its own foundation for eco-friendly practices in the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, which conducts training seminars and workshops with California’s many winemakers to be able to create a local industry that cares for the environment while producing great quality wines. Likewise, winemakers in Ontario, Canada, believing themselves to be stewards of the land, have adopted many different environmental practices to be able to eliminate the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers when growing their grapes. The U.K. also sees sustainable winemaking in the practices of retailer M&S who has invested in sustainable PET bottles for their wines.

Chile, however, is not too far behind. A few years ago, Concha y Toro made headlines when the winemaker partnered up with Fundacion Chile and the Water Footprint Network to develop better practices with regards to water consumption on their vineyards. Last year, Concha y Toro continued to make good on their bid to become more sustainable by signing a collaboration agreement with the National Forest Corporation (CONAF) to quantify the positive effects of their sustainability efforts in the past four years.The agreement with CONAF cemented Concha y Toro’s title as the first winery in Chile to devote efforts to quantify the positive contributions of their efforts, as opposed to how other wineries simply settle with measuring their carbon footprint. Research by CONAF showed that Concha y Toro’s native forests and vineyards accounted for 367,000 tons of carbon dioxide captured by forests in the past year.

Concha y Toro is one of the wineries that has the largest amount of forest resources in the world. Only in Chile it has more than 3,272 hectares of native forest, where it is also developing an ambitious biodiversity conservation program. Thanks to their efforts, the Chile winemaking industry is on its way to becoming one of the most sustainable in the world.

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