I am writing from Beirut, the very active and beautiful Lebanese capital. I’m here to visit the Horeca Exhibition, to meet with some potential clients and to attend to BIFEX where I’ve been invited as speaker.
Today I wish to share with you a great experience I had last Sunday in the suggestive country side. I had the pleasure to visit a wonderful vineyard and winery.
“The vision behind the wines IXSIR is to reveal the best local Lebanese sometimes forgotten for generations. Created by friends sharing a common passion for wine and Lebanon IXSIR is the culmination of their dream. They managed to develop fine wines that will be forever associated with the land of their ancestors. The wines IXSIR combine a rich variety of grapes grown on land carefully selected to symbolize the diversity of Lebanon. Batroun, north to Jezzine, south through the Bekaa Valley to the east, the vineyards chosen include everything the country has to offer. Winemaking and aging in cellars are above which rests the mansion. Located on the hills of Batroun, this bastion of regional heritage dates from the 17th century and overlooks a modern vineyard whose heart is sustainability priorities. It combines all the resources of the earth to give birth to wines that reveal the secrets”.
Trust me, the wine has a great taste but what surprised me the most is that this winery was selected by the CNN as one of the greenest building in the world; and what a building.
Well, I believe in this case images talks more than words, therefore, please enjoy:
Vinitaly 2011 ended with excellent results, an increase of 10% in visitors confirmed once again that good wine never goes out of fashion. Good wines, not only for the undisputed quality of the products, but also because of its being good for the environment and for the community. The bio wine, produced by following the precepts of organic agriculture, with no sulfur and, above all, free of chemical residues and pesticides, is not new thing on the market.
But what is innovative is that sustainability in the wine industry is becoming more and more popular and required by wine consumers. A recent WineNews / Vinitaly survey showed that “green” labelled wine, the one ensuring the environmental commitment of the winery, would be an added value for 55% of the interviewed. The survey results were collected in a sort of handbook of the sustainable wine drinking, whose must are: locally grown wine, organic and biodynamic viticulture, ISO 14001 or EMAS certified wineries, lighter bottles, recycled paper labels, use of recycled or recyclable packaging, low-impact in terms of carbon footprint of production.
There are several Italian producers who understand the importance of sustainability to adequately respond to consumer demands. Zonin for instance, is already eliminating herbicides, fertilizers and chemical treatments, using only those permitted by the organic or biodynamic agriculture. “Approaching a more sustainable production also requires us to use a more precise viticulture, an aspect that we can no longer overlook in the vineyards where we bring this new philosophy. A lot of attention is paid to the fertility of the soil which must not only be maintained but improved over time without the use of chemicals, “says Franco Giacosa, technical director of the Zonin company in Gambellara (Vicenza, Italy).
It is not a suprise to find the Zonin name amont the list of the 73 Italian companies participating to the Bayer CropScience Magis project for social and economic sustainability in the wine industry: from Caviro to Planeta, Barone Ricasoli and Castello Banfi, to name some of the companies appearing in the Magis list. The aim of the Magis project is to provide companies with a common objective and measurable parameters and elements of communication to meet the demands of industry and consumers in terms of sustainability.
Obviously, the added value of a wine produced accordingly to the Magis criteria, will be lost if the supply chain and bars, restaurants and hotels do not abide to the same sustainable and responsible criteria. And this is what the ECOFFEE project is working at!