The Chilean wine industry should have a sustainability certification system up-and-running by the end of 2010.
A sustainability protocol developed by the University of Talca and winery Caliterra has been unveiled this week and it is hoped wineries meeting the criteria will use a seal of approval logo on their bottles from the 2011 vintage.
Sergio Cuadra, winemaker at Caliterra, told decanter.com, ‘The only problem with sustainability is that it isn’t certifiable so we have worked on creating a system. It is still being developed and needs to be fine tuned but should be ready by the end of 2010.’
The scheme will work on a points system, awarding high marks to the most environmentally-friendly vineyards and wineries. It also assesses a company’s social policies, including its impact on local communities.
Sustainability has been criticised for being a vague concept. Cuadra defined it as ‘having profitable companies who take care of the environment and are socially responsible. It can include organics but organics only relates to production of grapes and that doesn’t take into consideration things like soil erosion or energy use. Sustainability is a much wider programme.’
Written by Rebecca Gibb