Sustainability has been the subject of WINWSA’s annual award since its inception and we have witnessed the W&S industry’s warm response to this topic. More and more wineries, brands, and even consumers started to pay attention and get involved. It is one of the major transformations in the industry these years. Sustainability is nothing new in the wine business. Viticulturists, wineries, and businesses have ventured into these fields decades ago.
Against this backdrop, “WINWSA Global Voice” has invited global leaders, scholars, and researchers to discuss the future trends of this subject, the impact of extreme weather on viticulture, and how to achieve sustainable development in the wine business.
Pablo Prieto is the winemaker of Viña Carmen. Founded by Chritian Lanz in 1850 and named in honor of his beloved wife, Viña Carmen has now more than 160 years of history marked by milestones and successes earned through its experience, enological heritage, and tireless search for quality and excellence. Viña Carmen exercises organic farming and became the first winery in Chile to create an organic and sustainable line: Nativa.
© Pablo Prieto
The content below is a simplified summary of the video. To watch the full video please go to WINWSA’s public WeChat account.
01 Challenge brought by global warming — less precipitation
First of all, the precipitation has changed a lot. We used to have between 300-400 mm per year, closer to 400 than to 300, 30 or 40 years ago, in an average of 20 years, and that was the average precipitation per year and now in Chile, we are facing to have between 100 to 200. Actually, in 2021, we had about 70, or about between 70 to 90 mm, which is really low and drought is a real issue. We have to fight it and make it our own way to face the drought. 2022 was a little bit better, we had about 250 mm this year, but we are still in drought. Precipitation is a real issue for the wine industry, especially in Chile.
© Viña Carmen
02 Challenge brought by global warming — higher temperatures in summer
Another thing is that the temperature has increased mainly in the summer, from a very early stage of the summer, increasing the maximum temperatures. In terms of the Winkler Index*, we are facing about 1650 degrees on average, which has been moved up to 1850 degrees, so it’s a big difference. We have to face that because it affects directly the ripening of the grapes. However, the night is still cold, we can get a moderate impact of the higher temperatures so the night goes around 10 degrees so we can have a good ripening for now.
*The Winkler Index is a technique for classifying the climate of wine growing regions based on heat summation or growing degree-days.
© Viña Carmen
03 Challenge brought by global warming — higher frequencies of heat waves
The last point is that we are facing higher frequencies of heat waves. The heat waves that we are facing, as not much like in the heat calculation, which is not very high, and temperatures are not more than or above 35℃. But this heatwave is bringing in very low relative humidity, less than 30%. That is making our vineyard under a lot of atmospheric stress. The plants are really struggling with this heatwave. That affects the ripening very directly.
© Viña Carmen
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