Carbon reduction strategies for regionally produced and consumed wine: From farm to fork


i) Background: Carbon footprint studies of locally produced and consumed wine are missing. ii) Purpose(s): The objective of the present study was to identify management strategies and carbon reduction potentials for a sustainable wine production based on the carbon footprint and the water footprint of locally grown grapes and wine locally produced and consumed. iii) Methods: Two wineries (A and B) were investigated, both of which grow the same white (Riesling) and the same red grape (Pinot Noir/Spätburgunder) on the same rootstock in the Rhine river valley of Germany. The study was based on PAS 2050-1 (BSI) and comprised 99% primary data derived from historical farm records. System boundaries ranged from planting of the grapevines to eventual disposal of a typical 0.75L glass bottle, which served as the functional unit (FU). iv) Results: The product carbon footprint (PCF) was 1.91±0.3kg CO2eq/bottle (A) or 1.69±0.3 (B) kg CO2eq/bottle of white wine and 1.86±0.3kg CO2eq/bottle of red wine for both wineries. These results were attributed to the consumer behaviour (22–30%), followed by the use and production of glass bottles (20–27%). Grapevine cultivation amounted to 0.3–0.4kg CO2eq/bottle; grape processing caused ca. 0.05–0.06kg CO2eq/bottle, packaging 0.5–0.6kg CO2eq/bottle, distribution 0.2–0.4kg CO2eq/bottle, while use and disposal of the glass bottles emitted 0.5–0.6kg CO2eq/bottle. The plant protection chemicals caused only ca. 1.4% and organic fertilizer ca. 2.8% of the product carbon footprint (PCF). Red and white wine appeared commensurate in their PCF within 3–8% in both vineyards. The water footprint was ca. 5.7±0.6 (A) and 2.1±0.4 (B) L blue water/bottle for both red and white wine. v) Discussion: The results are discussed with higher carbon footprint values for wine from overseas. We have identified the following reduction potentials such as the following management strategies: vi) Recommendations: a) reduction of fossil fuels for gas heating of the premises and for farm vehicles, b) the use of lightweight glass bottles and c) alternative means of transport for the consumer purchase at the winery when using a private vehicle.

Journal of Environmental Management, (278),