We are striving to become carbon neutral by 2025
First phase until 2019
Even before 2019 we were mindful of the environmental impact from our vineyard. Some practices we employed since the foundation in 2010 are:
Minimizing outside inputs. We are neither using herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, nor mineral fertilizers. We are also not using animal manure from outside our farm. Our vines are kept healthy by developing their natural immune system and securing biological diversity. Savings of CO2 emissions come from manufacture, transport an application of these outside inputs. Necessary nutrients are provided by green manure and our own herbal preparations.
No-till. We don’t use fuel to turn over the soil. Also, plowing is damaging to microorganisms in the soil and leads to loss of humus. Native and surface-sawn plants are left to mature and then rolled or mulched to provide both aeration of the soil and nutrients.
Carbon sink. More than 7% of our vineyard is dedicated to other plants that absorb CO2. They also provide habitat for beneficial insects.
Water management. We wash everything with cold water under high pressure. This reduces both energy and water use. Because no chemicals are used, waste water is used for watering our vegetable garden.
Energy management. Heating and cooling of the winery and wine is by geothermal energy and heat-pumps. Savings in comparison to average winery of our size is about 6.000 kWh per year, or about 1.400 kg of CO2.
No chemicals in the winery. We don’t use any outside inputs in the wine production, except small quantities of sulfur. Wine is bottled in the lightest possible glassware available, and shipping cartons are from the recycled cardboard. Lack of manufacture and transport of inputs and lighter finished product both contribute to CO2 savings.
Waste management. All our waste is biological and is returned to vineyard as fertilizer (compost).
Second phase 2019 -2022
Between 2019-2021 we have made investments that have further contributed to the emissions reduction:
Replacement of vineyard equipment. Forty-year-old, single cylinder tractor Tomo Vinković was replaced by Solis 26 with highly efficient three-cylinder Euro 5 engine and exhaust filters. High-efficiency sprayer was also acquired that resulted in much reduced water consumption. We also purchased a tractor implement for preparing a green manure, which replaced petrol driven one.
Additions to the winery equipment. Small high-efficiency heat-pump designed especially for chilling wine was purchased. This eliminated the need to use the big heat-pump to cool the winery space. This change resulted in the savings of 20.000 kWh per year and 4.660 kg less CO2 emissions.
Third phase 2023-2025
Our future plans include:
Replacing the main heat-pump. Our existing heat-pump is from 2009 and it has efficiency of 3,5 (for each kW of electricity used it generates 3,5 kW of heat). latest heat-pumps have efficiency of 7, which would reduce our electricity consumption by 3.000 kWh per year and effect CO2 savings of 700 kg per year.
On-grid PV solar pannels. Reserach conducted among 3.100 wineries in Spain (“Economic and Environmental Study of Wineries Powered by Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Systems in Spain”, 14.02.2017., “Energies”), showed that emmissions from the grid-used electricity is 330 g/kWh, while from PV pannels 37 g/kWh (pannels themselves don’t have any, but emissions used in manufacturing and transport are counted in). Our annual electricity use is about 14.000 kWh resulting in 4.620 kg of CO2 emissions. After PV pannel installation our annual emissions would be only 518 kg of CO2.