Title: Comparative life cycle assessment in the wine sector: Biodynamic vs. conventional viticulture activities in NW Spain

Abstract: Viticulture is currently experiencing a gradual shift to more sustainable production practices. Many producers see in this shift an opportunity to increase their sales, especially in a context which is greatly influenced by the reduction in wine sales due to the world economic crisis. Hence, both organic and biodynamic viticulture have begun to be applied in many vineyards as alternative attractive agricultural techniques. Nevertheless, it remains unclear which are the exact environmental benefits (or drawbacks) of applying these techniques for numerous environmental impacts, such as climate change or toxicity. Therefore, the main goal of this study is to perform an environmental evaluation using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for three different viticulture techniques within a single appellation (Ribeiro, NW Spain): biodynamic cultivation sites, conventional vineyards and an intermediate biodynamic-conventional wine-growing plantation (i.e. biodynamic site lacking certification). Moreover, two methodological improvements in the field of wine LCA studies are suggested and developed in terms of land use impact categories and labour inclusion in life-cycle thinking. Results demonstrate that biodynamic production implies the lowest environmental burdens, and the highest environmental impacts were linked to conventional agricultural practices. The main reasons for this strong decrease in environmental impacts for the biodynamic site is related to an 80% decrease in diesel inputs, due to a lower application of plant protection products and fertilisers, and the introduction of manual work rather than mechanised activities in the vineyards. [Pedro Villanueva-Reya, Ian Vázquez-Roweb, M Teresa Moreiraa, Gumersindo Feijooa (2013). Comparative life cycle assessment in the wine sector: Biodynamic vs. conventional viticulture activities in NW Spain. Journal of Cleaner Production, online 30 Aug] Comment

Keywords: biodynamic viticulture; grape production; land use; LCA; USEtox; wine

Original article

Article: WeedsNews4637 (permalink)
Categories: :WeedsNews:research alert, :WeedsNews:biodynamic, :WeedsNews:organic farming, :WeedsNews:vineyard weed management
Date: September 10, 2013; 10:24:58 PM EST
Author Name: Zheljana Peric
Author ID: zper12