Respect for the environment and the landscape, sustainability and the recovery of biodiversity are values that constitute one of the fundamental pillars of the winery. Altés Inheritance which aims to integrate the integrate the entire cycle of vine cultivation and winemaking within the ecosystem and with minimal environmental impact. So much so that the DO Terra Alta winery not only practices organic viticulture and is largely self-sufficient in terms of energy, but has also developed and implemented its own environmental project. its own environmental project.
Thus, for the last 5 years, the owners Núria Altés and Rafael De Haan have promoted, in the Lo Grau de l'Inquisidor estate -Gandesa, Tarragona-, a series of measures to recover the natural heritage of the area as they understand that the practice of agriculture must be linked to respect for the environment: "we believe that the recovery of native fauna and flora and of spaces where they can inhabit is today more necessary than ever as intensive agriculture and monoculture practices, most of the time, do not favor biodiversity. We understand winemaking as an activity that protects the territory in the broadest sense," explains Núria Altés.
Therefore, the winery Herencia Altés, faithful to its commitment, has recently joined the butterfly monitoring and identification network Catalan Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (CBMS), a project that aims to know precisely the changes in abundance of butterflies from the weekly repetition of visual censuses to relate them later with different environmental factors, since butterflies are one of the main indicators of biodiversity or animal bioindicator. Herencia Altés has more than 54 hectares of vineyards, spread over different estates, one of which is El Grado del Inquisidor, where the butterfly monitoring project is being carried out and where, so far, up to 26 species of diurnal butterflies have been observed between the vineyard and the natural vegetation. Most of the species observed correspond to temperate and mid-mountain habitats, being the Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) the most abundant so far, also observed, among others, the Queen Butterfly (Papilio machaon), the Common silvery (Argynnis paphia) or other migratory species coming from North Africa, such as the Vanessa cardui (Vanessa cardui).
Among the actions carried out to date, we would also highlight the project for the hacking The winery has also carried out a project for the reintroduction of species such as the Barn Owl (Tyto Alba) or what is currently being carried out with 3 kestrel chicks. The objective of this technique is to establish a dependency between the released birds and the release site, at least for a period of time. The hacking consists of placing the chicks in a nest-box where they will finish growing and then take their first flights until they become fully independent.
As part of the Altés Inheritance environmental project, thousands of plants and trees from the planted thousands of plants and trees of indigenous species to reproduce the natural to reproduce the natural environments of the area; a botanical garden with a pond has been a botanical garden with a natural pond The area has a botanical garden with a natural pond, since water points are areas of great biodiversity and are becoming increasingly scarce, and many habitats have been recreated to encourage the return of native species of animals. In the area closest to the vineyards, in order to help combat pests and diseases, bird nesting boxes have been installed for birds. nesting boxes for insectivorous birds and shelters for bats have been installed, These are very important species in the control of insects that are harmful to the vineyards.
In short, the environmental project aims to respect the cultural heritage of vine growing and winemaking, to understand viticulture as an activity that protects the ecosystem, to conserve and enhance the landscape and biodiversity, and to museumize the Lo Grau de l'Inquisidor estate in order to disseminate these values, since, ultimately and as part of the winery's corporate responsibility, the aim is to educate and train in terms of sustainable agriculture and the recovery of biodiversity.