International Wineries for Climate Action Welcomes Silver Oak and Alma Carraovejas in Collaborative Effort to Decarbonize the Global Wine Industry

/ 2020 · 07 · 08

International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) has announced that Silver Oak winery (USA) and Alma Carraovejas winery (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 is for all members to have a long-term strategy of reducing 80 percent of their carbon emissions by 2045, with a shorter-term goal of 50 percent by 2030.

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.

Silver Oak has focused exclusively on Cabernet Sauvignon aged in American oak barrels since 1972. Owned by the Duncan family, the winery is also known for sustainable farming practices and winery innovation, having built the world’s first two U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum certified production wineries in the Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Most recently, their winery located in Healdsburg (California) became the largest certified Living Building in the world by the International Living Future Institute, a certification earned by actual, rather than modeled or anticipated, performance.

Led by CEO Pedro Ruiz Aragoneses, Alma Carraovejas unites several viticulture and gastronomic projects under the same corporate culture based on sustainability in some of Spain’s most important wine regions, including Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Rueda and Ribeiro. These are Pago de Carraovejas, Ossian Vides y Vinos, Milsententayseis, Viña Mein-Emilio Rojo and Ambivium Restaurant.

Last month, Silver Oak and Alma Carraovejas joined the IWCA’s inaugural (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. Additional attendees included cofounders Familia Torres (Spain) and Jackson Family Wines (USA), as well as Spottswoode Estate (USA), Symington Family Estates (Portugal), VSPT Wine Group (Chile), and Yealands Wine Group (New Zealand).

One of the meeting’s priorities was to identify emissions ‘hot spots’ for key focus areas and develop innovative actions that will mitigate the impacts of climate change. Members explored best practices for emission reductions such as carbon sequestration either through carbon farming or reforestation, like Familia Torres’ long-term project in Patagonia.

Furthermore, IWCA members analyzed different approaches for GHG inventories and explored ways for smaller wineries to join the collaborative group, including the development of a streamlined emissions calculator for these wineries to fill in without having to rely on an external consultancy.

Other aspects covered in this first virtual meeting included developing a scientific panel to provide insights into the latest research and fostering sustainability collaborations within the sector. At the end of the meeting, several working groups were established to work on the GHG calculator, carbon sequestration and recruitment of wineries from all over the world.