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13.07.2018
Wine producers are saving up to 30% in water and energy with WASP

Wine producers in Alentejo have already begun to save water and energy through a sustainability program for the sector, with benefits for the "wallets" and for the environment.

There are winemakers in the region who already save "15 to 20% in water and energy can go up to 30%", with potential to reach "up to 50% in both cases," said the manager of the Wines of Alentejo Sustainability Program (WASP), João Barroso.

The official spoke at the end of presenting the three-year review of the implementation of this program led by the Alentejo Regional Wine Commission (CVRA), which took place at the Alentejo Regional Coordination and Development Commission in Évora.

João Barroso stressed that the producers who joined the WASP started to "control water consumption" and to have the "perception and monitoring of what was consumed" in the cellar or vineyard also in terms of energy.

"Now, producers are able to know at the moment what energy is being spent, whether there is any waste and whether there is any way to optimize that consumption to reduce costs," he said.

The WASP manager stressed that winemakers "invested in flowmeters and measuring equipment", which he considered "derisory", taking into account "the cost benefit of the investment and the low return period."

"Once you have these equipment installed you can easily start controlling and reducing costs. If we can save the resources, we will go directly and proportionately save money," he said.

In addition to the economic and environmental benefits, the sustainability program has also enabled winegrowers to make other gains, such as communication and information sharing and the promotion of biodiversity and ecosystem protection, among others.

Also, CVRA president Francisco Mateus made an "exceptional" assessment of the application of the WASP, considering that the adherents "have already covered a third of the way" until reaching the highest level of sustainability.

"This is an excellent principle, but this has no end," he said, pointing to the need for the sector to "improve year after year" and for winegrowers with less area to join the program.

The Sustainability Program for Alentejo Wines has 160 members, including winegrowers, wineries and vine and wine companies.
 
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Vinhos do Alentejo 2018