Twelve wineries from around the world apply to join this organization in the 2021 call, being Herència Altés the only winery in Spain.
Respect for the environment, sustainability and the recovery of biodiversity are values engraved in the soul of the Terra Alta winery.
The International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) is a collaborative working group, co-founded in February 2019 by the Torres Family and Jackson Family Wines, that brings together wineries committed to sustainability. The non-profit organization wants to foster a global wine community for the creation of strategies against climate change and for the decarbonization of the industry. These values, precisely, are engraved in the soul of the Terra Alta winery, Herència Altés: "Respect for the environment, sustainability and the recovery of biodiversity are objectives that we have set ourselves since our birth ten years ago. And that is precisely why we want to be part of the IWCA", explains Núria Altés, co-owner of the winery.
In this sense, Herència Altés has recently presented its candidacy to join the organization. To become a member, a series of requirements must be met: at least 20% of the winery's energy must be renewable, a minimum GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions inventory verified by an external audit must also be completed, and at least a 25% reduction in CO₂ emissions per unit of wine produced must be demonstrated after one year of the baseline emissions inventory. In addition, as an international working group, each IWCA member targets an overall reduction in carbon emissions (50% by 2030 and 80% by 2045), seeking to reach zero emissions by 2050.
"Being in this international working group is a challenge. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, we are convinced that we are heading in the right direction to achieve the member medal, since our winery team has been working for some time to integrate the entire cycle of vine cultivation and winemaking within the ecosystem and with minimal environmental impact, "says Rafael de Haan, who is the other owner of the winery. And a good part of the work is already under way because Herència Altés has been practicing organic viticulture for years and is largely self-sufficient in energy.
Now, the winery wants to go a step further: To recognize that global warming is the biggest challenge facing the wine industry. In this sense, Herència Altés has adopted, in recent years, measures to reduce its carbon footprint, such as the expansion of the photovoltaic installation that allowed it to reduce emissions from electricity consumption, generating 80% of the total energy it consumes with this installation. In addition, the winery has now calculated its carbon footprint at 1.4kg CO2 per bottle, a figure below the European average of 1.7kg CO2 per bottle. "We are committed to addressing the severity of the climate crisis by reducing our carbon emissions. We want to join in, because the more wineries that participate in the IWCA, the louder the voice will be to raise awareness of climate change and implement immediate and global actions," adds Núria Altés.
But that's not all, the winery has developed, in recent years, its own environmental project to recover the environmental project for the recovery of native fauna and flora, carrying out various actions, such as for example, the planting of thousands of plants and trees of native species and the construction of a botanical garden with a natural pond to reproduce a natural environment typical of the area; the adhesion to the Catalan Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (CBMS) butterfly monitoring and identification network; or the participation in a project of haking for the reintroduction of species such as the Barn Owl or the Kestrel.
In the 2021 call to join IWCA, 12 wineries from all over the world are applying: 8 from the United States, 1 from India, 1 from Australia, 1 from France and. Herència Altés, which is the only winery from Spain to be Spain, which is the only winery from Spain to present a candidacy on this occasion. Currently, the entity is formed by the two founding wineries and eight member wineries: Spottswoode Estate (USA, Napa Valley), Symington Family Estates (Portugal), VSPT Wine Group (Chile), Yealands Wine Group (New Zealand), Alma Carraovejas (Spain), Silver Oak (USA, Napa Valley), Bodega Emina (Spain) and Cullen Wines (Australia).