We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, writer

Cantina di Vicobarone sees the concept of sustainability as the best way to hand down a winery and territory to new generations, which are not impoverished and exploited, but still full of natural and human resources.

Sustainability embodies three equally important aspects:

Cantina di Vicobarone intends to focus on all the steps of the wine-making process to minimize its environmental impact on the vineyards and at the cellar, for example optimising the work carried out on the land and reducing the emissions and water consumption in the wine-making and aging processes. With regards to the social aspect, the legal form of Cantina di Vicobarone allows optimising the cooperation between wine growers at best, and its ethic profile towards employees, customers and suppliers along the entire production and commercial spheres, with the purpose to create shared value among the various stakeholders.

Cantina di Vicobarone, in collaboration with Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza, has decided to implement an actual social and environmental sustainability plan that will result in the definition of a series of short and medium term activities during 2013, with regards to agricultural and transformation phases.

“Approach to the eco-sustainability of agricultural and food enterprises in Emilia-Romagna: sustainability as resource at the service of the corporate business’’ is the research program that has the scope to evaluate the environmental sustainability of some agricultural and food products, by implementing the ”Life Cycle Assessment” method which considers the environmental impacts of the agricultural phase (vineyard), of the entire production process (cellar) up to the large-scale retail channel.
Cantina di Vicobarone is also taking part in the project and chose Gutturnio frizzante – Colli Piacentini DOC, as product intended for mass distribution. The purpose is to adopt sustainable methods in all the phases from the fields to the cellar: this means analysing and sharing information not only with consumers, but also with winegrowers in order to help them in ‘’planning their future’’.

During the last few years, the concept of sustainability in the wine sector has led to numerous initiatives in Italy and worldwide.

Some Italian and international projects can be found below, intended for those who wish to find out more about the topic of sustainable viticulture.

In Italy


The Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea launched a national project in July 2011, to measure the sustainability performance of the vine growing – wine making sector, with four indicators: water, territory, vineyard and CO2, with the participation of a few large Italian wineries, proposing the first Italian labelling for sustainable wine.


(Italian wine carbon calculator)
Ita.Ca is the monitoring model of the wine producing activity and can significantly contribute to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, already tested in Franciacorta.



Magis is a sustainability project concerning wine production in Italy, also recognized by the OIV (Organisation International de la Vigne et du Vin).
It groups up wine producers, scientific communities, oenologists and industry, who work together to boost the sustainability and safety of Italian wine in a tangible, effective and transparent fashion. Magis provides a specific protocol for member enterprises according to each geographic area, and a software that can assist the winegrower in order to improve his work.


Stazione Sperimentale per la Viticoltura Sostenibile

The Experimental Station for Sustainable Viticulture was founded in Tuscany and it is an example of how scientific research and technology that assist agriculture in order to develop cutting-edge strategies for sustainable viticulture.


Terra Vitis

It was founded in 1990 by a few winegrowers of Beaujolais who decided to formally implement eco-compatible techniques for integrated viticulture. Goals: meet consumers’ needs, respect the environment and territory, and be competitive. This approach respects the vineyard and winegrowers, it keeps in consideration biodiversity and the landscape.

Vino Libero

It is an initiative that promotes the use of natural organic manure in the vineyards. No herbicides are used and traditional soil cultivation techniques are implemented. At the cellar instead, natural techniques are adopted to eliminate the use of sulphites (up to 40% less)


SOStain is a corporate sustainability program of optional and pro-active character, aimed at boosting the sustainable standards of the companies that implement it. Currently, companies have to deal with sustainable choices, whether consciously or unconsciously, during the regular management of their activity; SOStain intends to standardize and deal with these corporate choices in a systematic fashion, steering them towards increasing sustainable goals.


Tergeo is a project launched by Unione Italiana Vini.
The main goals of the project are: saving resources, by lowering production costs, operating respecting the environment and human resources and create an ethically and socially responsible viticultural sector.
Tergeo also intends to make up for some lacks in terms of information and communication, as well as training and testing on field.

In Europe and worldwide

Sustainable viticulture in France

In the last 15 years, the Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne has been pursuing the goal to implement sustainable practices in vineyards.

Sustainable viticulture in California:

Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
The Californian Association of sustainable winegrape growers. It implements a certification program for Californian winegrowers. The Sustainable Winegrowing Program (SWP) aims at boosting environmental, social and economic sustainability of wine in California, by promoting the use of sustainable corporate practices.


ECOPROWINE is a European project that aims at minimizing the environmental impact of wine production by reducing the exploitation of natural resources (water, raw materials), energy, additives and adjuvants, and by reducing the quantity and polluting impact of waste, wastewater and emissions into the environment (e.g. greenhouse gases, nitrates) during the entire wine-making process, through the implementation of a “Life Cycle Wine Assessment” (LCA) protocol, and proposing an environmental LCA label.

Wineries for climate protection

‘’Wineries for Climate Protection” is an initiative of the Spanish wine Federation (FEV) and wineries.
It deals with different topics, among which the reduction of emissions, sustainable construction, energy, sustainable agriculture, eco-design, waste reduction, distribution, research, innovation and communication.


Fair Choice is a certification program for sustainable viticulture. It deals with environmental, economic and social aspects.

Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile

It is a conformity certification based on 17 criteria concerning sustainable practices, between which corporate transparency, respect for the environment in cultivation practices, constant improvement of processes at the vineyards and cellar, social responsibility of the wineries towards workers and the community – retaining a high quality standard in the wine production.

Sustainable Winegrowing NZ

Founded in 1995 by a few winegrowers in New Zealand, Sustainable Winegrowing NZ is a program that has been developed to provide an environmental ‘best practice’ model on field and at the cellar, ensure the best quality of the vines until the bottling process, and to give proper information to the final consumer concerning environmentally sustainable products.