From the vineyard to the cellar: Sustainability as a Milestone

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From the vineyard to the cellar: Sustainability as a Milestone

Responsible use of natural resources at the base of the production process: a systematic approach that has allowed Firriato to become the first Carbon Neutral winery in Italy, awarded by Gambero Rosso as winery of the year for ‘Sustainable Viticulture 2021’

Sustainability has always been an integral part of Firriato’s production philosophy. From the countryside of Trapani to the island of Favignana, up to the slopes of Etna, since our origins we have distinguished ourselves for a constant and active commitment to the environment, the protection of the ampelographic heritage, biodiversity and natural habitats. A total of six estates for a total of 470 hectares where, from the very first plantings, we mainly breed native varieties under certified organic farming, managed with the method of precision viticulture, through a deep knowledge of the terroirs in which it is grown and the relationships that exist between the environment and the vineyard: a model that, from the plant to the various management phases, translates into a series of choices that allow us to optimally manage soils, water resources and agronomic practices, thanks to the acquisition of increasingly targeted information. Best practices that offer us the opportunity to play a role of supervision and sentinel in safeguarding the environmental heritage.

The approach to environmental sustainability requires high levels of management, focused on achieving measurable and comparable objectives over time, to verify their progress. In order to ensure the objectivity of collected data and improvements achieved along the entire production chain, from the vineyard to the final distribution of the product, international standards have been adopted, which have the utmost scientific rigor to transform compliance with environment in an imperative priority. The wine that comes from our vineyards is the result of a series of interlinked processes, key steps on which it is necessary to focus attention individually. It is essential to consider the environmental impact of each step, predict how to reduce it and insert it into an organic vision, to verify the entire sum of the results achieved. The result is a concrete basis that sees sustainability as a way of operating the company on several fronts; both on the domestic and foreign market.

Firriato now plays a leading role about environmental issues in Sicily: in January 2014, it was one of the first Italian companies to be awarded ISO 14064 certification for the reduction and containment of greenhouse gas emissions. This certification, issued by DNV, the most prestigious and qualified certifying body for environmental management on an international level, will enable the island’s historic brand of top-quality wines to estimate its CO2 emissions and therefore obtain a fundamental parameter useful to build new control systems for the reduction of emissions. A recognisable commitment for Firriato and awarded for the life cycle of every single label, this is the case of Gaudensius Blanc de Noir Spumante Etna Doc that has obtained ISO 14067 certification stating minimal environmental impact from the grape harvest to bottling steps. All of the winery processes will be monitored, from the grapes reception to the ageing of the wine in the bottle. Firriato has thus become the first winery in Italy to receive this award, which confirms how careful the company is, not just with regard to the quality of its wines, but also with regard to an effective contribution to the creation of new and more advanced standards of environmental efficiency and sustainability. Finally, with the ISO 14001 certification, Firriato guarantees that most of the used packaging materials are recyclable. From the glass of the bottles to the paper of the labels, from the cardboard for the boxes to the polylaminate capsules, all waste products are regularly recorded, divided into categories and dispatched for recycling.

In practice, Firriato’s production process is entirely inspired by the respect for the nature and the environment. Furthermore, Firriato stands also for sustainable bio-architecture, the wineries and the guest houses are all designed, projected, realized and certified according to EMAS 1221/2009 certifications, embodying the most efficient rules of sustainability, energy saving and minimum impact on the environment. In 2018, Firriato confirms how the productive commitment aimed at obtaining enological excellence is increasingly sensitive and attentive to the principles of environmental sustainability. This is proved by the last three certifications received by DNV – GL, one of the most prestigious international bodies in the sector. Firriato has obtained ISO 50001: 2011 certification for the efficient energy management system in the production of its wines thanks to innovations applied for environmental protection and agricultural methods implemented in the field with responsibility and precision. According to the DNV-GL, the company of the Di Gaetano family has improved its performance by reducing the consumption of electricity also by resorting to the rational exploitation of energy produced from renewable sources. The ISO14046-1 Water Footprint certification, on the other hand, concerns the sustainable management of water: in the assessment of control, in fact, we recognize that Firriato uses water resources, in all phases of the production process, in a coherent and sustainable way without wasting or excesses; the ISO14067 Carbon Footprint Certification, on the other hand, directly concerns one of the best known wines of the Sicilian maison, the Sabbie of Etna Bianco DOC, which is born in the Cavanera Estate on the north-eastern slope of the Etna volcano. On the bottles of this enological pearl, winelovers will find a label that demonstrates how the company has improved its environmental performance for the production of this wine by reducing CO2 emissions along the entire production cycle, from the vineyard to the bottling.

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