International Wineries for Climate Action has announced that Cullen Wines (Australia) and Bodega Emina in Ribera del Duero (Bodegas Familiares Matarromera; Spain) have joined the organization’s mission to decarbonize the global wine industry. As Applicant Members, both wineries have committed to taking immediate action to reduce their carbon emissions in an effort to curtail the severe climate crisis.
Founded in February 2019 by Familia Torres (Spain) and Jackson Family Wines (USA), IWCA is a collaborative working group that addresses climate change through innovative carbon reduction strategies. IWCA’s objective for all members is to achieve a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and to become Climate Positive by 2050 for Scopes 1-3.
To become a member, IWCA requires applicants to be powered by at least 20 percent on-site renewable energy, reduce 25 percent of CO2 emissions per unit of wine produced, and complete an annual greenhouse gas audit (across Scopes 1, 2 and 3) utilizing the World Resources Institute Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol methodology (following ISO14064-process) and verified by an internationally accredited, third-party auditor.
Cullen Wines founded 50 years ago, is a family owned and managed wine business in the Wilyabrup area of the Margaret River wine growing region in southwest Western Australia, growing Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Three words which define the Cullen approach are quality, integrity and sustainability. The Cullen journey from the outset grew from minimal chemical inputs, to organic and then biodynamics. Cullen was one of the first to make the transition to organics and biodynamics with over 22 years of practice, and 17 of certification. Cullen Wines have been certified Carbon Neutral since 2007 and Carbon Positive since 2019. (www.cullenwines.com.au)
Bodega Emina in Ribera del Duero is part of Matarromera, a group which origins date back several centuries and which covers six highly prestigious Spanish DO’s. This winery from DO Ribera del Duero is a prime example of eco-sustainable construction, with solar panel energy generation systems (both thermal and photovoltaic), furnaces for the use of biomass, wastewater treatment units and charging stations. Emina was the first Spanish winery company to calculate the carbon footprint of several of its wines, leading the winery to reduce the weight of its bottles. The winery’s firm commitment to sustainability was awarded with the European Business Award for the Environment in 2012. (www.emina.es)
Last month, Cullen Wines and Bodega Emina in Ribera del Duero joined IWCA’s second virtual meeting to discuss the plan of action to push IWCA’s mission forward by recruiting new members and sharing best practices for emissions reductions. This time it was Torres who presented their experience with a biomass boiler in combination with a so-called Absorption Chiller solution, which actually cools down water using the heat from the boiler. This has made it possible to reduce Torres’ gas consumption up to 95%, electricity by 10% and prevents the emission of 1.300 tons of CO2 per year. Additional attendees included cofounders Familia Torres (Spain) and Jackson Family Wines (USA), as well as Alma Carraovejas (ESP), Silver Oak (USA), Spottswoode Estate (USA), Symington Family Estates (POR), VSPT Wine Group (CL) and Yealands Estate (NZ).
During the meeting interim results of the working groups ‘Carbon Farming’ and ‘Streamlined Emissions Calculator’ were presented and discussed. The latter is especially interesting, as this GHG inventory approach does not require external consultancy, which would make the filling in of the IWCA application procedure easier for smaller wineries. Moreover, next steps were discussed to change IWCA from a working group format to a non-profit association entity. Other aspects covered in this second virtual meeting included how to further grow the numbers of applicants and full members of IWCA; for example through more participations of actual IWCA members in virtual roundtables such as ‘The future of Wine Forum 2020’ (organized by Sustainable Wine) or ‘Wineland’ (organized by World Wine Forum). The next IWCA virtual meeting is planned for mid-2021.