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Both wineries participated in the IWCA’s second virtual meeting to discuss the 2021 action plan.

Vilafranca del Penedes (January 26, 2021) – International Wine Cellars Climate Action (IWCA) announces 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. Both wineries have pledged as candidates to take immediate action to reduce their carbon emissions in order to stop the brutal climate crisis.

Founded in February 2019 by the Torres Family (Spain) and Jackson Family Wines (USA), the IWCA is a cooperative working group that addresses climate change through innovative carbon reduction strategies. The IWCA’s goal for all its members is to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and become climate positive for areas 1 to 3 by 2050.

To become a member of the IWCA, applicants must use at least 20% renewable energy sources on site, reduce CO2 emissions per unit of wine produced by 25% and conduct an annual greenhouse gas audit (in Areas 1, 2 and 3) using the World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol methodology (in accordance with the ISO14064 process) and be audited by an internationally accredited third-party auditor.

Founded 50 years ago, Cullen Wines is a family-owned business in the Wilyabrup region of the Margaret River wine region in South West Australia. It grows Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The three words that define Mr. Cullen’s approach are quality, integrity and sustainability. From the beginning, Cullen’s path has led from the minimal use of chemicals to the use of organic products and biodynamics. Cullen was one of the first to make the transition to organic and biodynamic farming, with over 22 years of practice and 17 certifications. Cullen wines have been certified carbon neutral since 2007 and climate friendly since 2019. (www.cullenwines.com.au)

The Bodega Emina in Ribera del Duero is part of the Matarromera group, which goes back several centuries and includes six very famous Spanish AODs. This winery in the DO Ribera del Duero is an excellent example of sustainable construction, with solar energy production systems (thermal and photovoltaic), biomass ovens, wastewater treatment plants and charging stations. Emina was the first Spanish winery to calculate the carbon footprint of some of its wines, which helped reduce the weight of the bottles. The winery’s strong commitment to sustainable development was rewarded in 2012 with the European Business Environment Prize. (www.emina.es)

Last month, Cullen Vines and Bodega Emina in Ribera del Duero participated in the IWCA’s second virtual meeting to discuss an action plan to advance the IWCA’s mission by recruiting new members and sharing best practices in reducing emissions. This time it was Torres who presented his experience with a biomass boiler combined with an absorption chiller, which actually cools the water with the heat from the boiler. This has enabled Torres to reduce gas consumption by up to 95%, electricity consumption by 10% and avoid emitting 1,300 tonnes of CO2 per year. Other participants included co-founders 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 the interim results of the working group on agricultural carbon and the simplified emission calculator were presented and discussed. This last point is particularly interesting because this approach to greenhouse gas inventory does not require external consultants, which would make it easier for small wineries to complete the IWCA form. In addition, further steps in the transition of the IWCA from a working group format to a non-profit association were discussed. Other topics discussed during this second virtual meeting included how to further increase the number of applicants and full members of the IWCA; for example, by increasing the participation of current IWCA members in virtual roundtables such as the 2020 Forum on the Future of Wine (organized by Sustainable Wine) or Wine Country (organized by the World Wine Forum). The next virtual meeting of the VCI is scheduled for mid-2021.

ABOUT THE IWCA

The International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) was founded in 2019 by the Spanish Torres family and the family of California winemakers Jackson. The initiative was launched by two large wine-growing families deeply rooted in environmental concern and passion for preserving the world’s great wine heritage in the face of climate change. The IWCA is a working group whose mission is to take concerted action to decarbonize the global wine industry. The goals of the member wineries are to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 and become climate-positive by 2050 for wineries 1 through 3.

The IWCA is open to wineries that recognize that climate change is the most serious threat to the wine community and are driven by an urgent need for strategic action to accelerate innovative solutions. In 2019, the IWCA received the Star of Vision Award for its leadership in advancing collaborative climate action in the wine industry.

The IWCA currently has 10 members from 6 different countries and 4 different continents. www.iwcawine.org

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