BIODIVERSITY, SUSTAINABILITY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL GOOD PRACTICE FORM AND INTEGRAL PART OF WINE PRODUCTION IN THE ALENTEJO.
The sunny and warm Mediterranean climate of Alentejo naturally encourages wine production: the nights are cool, the winds are dry, the sunshine could not be lovelier and it hardly ever rains. The region is favoured with more than 3000 annual hours of sunshine – a figure that is even greater than the Portuguese average (which is already one of the highest in Europe). No wonder then, that the grape clusters ripen so well in this sunny and warm climate, that they require very little intervention or help on the part of the grower. A wide range of flora and fauna flourish in the vineyards, further contributing to the preservation of the valuable ecosystem of Alentejo.
This all adds up to providing the optimum conditions for eco-friendly and sustainable wine production. The form of viticulture most often encountered here is ‘integrated production’ (IP). The goal of this system is, wherever possible, to avoid any encroachment upon the agri-ecosystem and the environment, thus maintaining the highest conceivable quality, with sufficient yield at harvest. A combination of crop-protection treatments that have a lower detrimental impact on the environment are only used when necessary to maintain the health of the vines. More and more estates in Alentejo are working towards organic certification, at which point they will be able to label their wines as being organic – produced in an environmentally friendly way.
Here in Portugal’s largest wine producing region, multiplicity of indigenous grape varieties have evolved, which are perfect for the prevalent soil and climate conditions. They grow in Alentejo alongside international varieties – on slate, granite and quartzite, producing multifaceted wines of great character.