A righteous path from the vineyard to the bottle

The sustainability of the Bortolomiol winery

A project in conjunction with Indaco2 srl, a spin-off company of the University of Siena | INDACO2


Attention and care for the environment and the vineyard are indicators of a social responsibility for the territory that has always been in the heart of Bortolomiol.


Over the past 10 years”, – states Elvira Bortolomiol – “we have adopted behaviour and strategies to preserve the territory we live in through environmentally-friendly procedures: the wellbeing of the vines and the vineyard is an important and dutiful approach for us, passed on from our father who founded the winery in the 1940s, even though the family tradition dates back to 1760”.


Conversion of the vineyards to an organic system began in 2008 while in 2011 the Green Mark project was launched, an internal protocol which, through a series of technical indications which the grape suppliers have chosen to adhere to, aims to improve the way the grapes and vineyards are managed with the least possible impact on the environment and an increasing environmentally-friendly approach. Since 2016 the Bortolomiol winery has been availing itself of the invaluable expertise of well-known winemaker Roberto Cipresso, who has been guiding the team of oenologists towards an important changeover to a more and more environmentally-friendly wine-growing process.


“We are now taking things one step further through the partnership with Indaco2 srl, a spin-off company of the University of Siena, specialised in monitoring production chains through environmental sustainability indicators”. – states Elvira Bortolomiol – “Together we have studied and analysed the life cycle of the Grande Cuvée del Fondatore Motus Vitae Prosecco Superiore di Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG Rive di San Pietro di Barbozza and the Ius Naturae Prosecco Superiore di Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG Organic wine, considering the series of potential impacts generated in the different processes, from running the vineyard to making the wine in the cellar and turning it into sparkling wine, right up to bottling and dealing with the packaging materials at the end of their useful life.”


From the findings of this study it has emerged that the readings for Carbon Footprint emissions, i.e. the amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere during the production of the two reference wines, is fully compensated by a wooded area extending over three hectares which the Bortolomiol family owns on Monte Cesen and that protects the Valdobbiadene hills from the north winds.


The wood therefore becomes an integral part of environmental enhancement: an element that is no longer static and immobile, but is alive and actively contributes to the environmental sustainability project. Environmental enhancement remains an essential asset for Bortolomiol, a process which has begun but is still a work in progress, which is nurtured every year through continual investment into research and technology. “A commitment” – promises Elvira Bortolomiol – “that we undertake every day with a view to leaving the territory cleaner and greener for future generations”.


Having already embarked upon a path towards more and more sustainable wine productions some years ago, Bortolomiol has now begun a new partnership with Indaco2 srl, a spin-off company of the University of Siena, specialised in monitoring production chains through environmental sustainability indicators. Indaco2 has been commissioned to carry out a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the productions of two Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore labels, our Ius Naturae Organic wine and the Grande Cuvée del Fondatore Rive, with the aim of identifying actions that will mitigate and compensate the impacts, based on consolidated data and scientific criteria.


The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the method used for identifying the major environmental implications of wine production chains in relation to a series of problems. Among the categories of impacts to be considered, special attention will be paid to the phenomenon of Global Warming Potential starting with monitoring the so-called Carbon Footprint of our Prosecco DOCG, i.e. the amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere generated by its production. The LCA is a consolidated method, governed by ISO14040-44 standards and recognised at international level.


The assessment considers all the potential impacts generated in the various processes for the entire production cycle, from the vineyard to the bottle, i.e. from the way the vineyard is managed to the wine-making process in the cellar and turning the wine into sparkling wine, right up to bottling and treatment of the packaging materials when their useful life is over. The way the supply chain is organised, the methods and number of processes in the field, the use of fuel and machinery, the types and quantities of fertilisers and plant protection products, electricity consumption, the products used for wine-making and sanitisation, water consumption and the use of materials for packaging the end product, are all factors that affect the values of the indicators. From the results of the analysis it will be possible to highlight the good practices that guarantee the sustainability of our wines, identify solutions that will mitigate and offset the impacts and to undertake a genuine innovation of our processes in order to improve the environmental performance and sustainability of the company’s products.


We believe this assessment, carried out by a team of specialists and researchers, to be a fundamental step along our road towards a more conscientious and environmentally-friendly production that the company is determined to follow. We are aware that this road already starts from a good position; the CO2 absorbed by the plant ecosystems currently existing in the company compensate for the emissions of 100,000 bottles per year (the impact per bottle is taken from documented research calculating the European average). In particular, the 3 hectares of woods owned by the family fully compensate for the production of the Ius Naturae Organic and the Grande Cuvée del Fondatore Rive.


This first step demonstrates that the road to sustainability is feasible. Over the course of 2017 we will investigate further issues regarding the entire production in order to be able to share updated information on the possibility of offsetting all the CO2 emitted by the Winery and achieve total sustainability.