Argentinean winemakers must change and improve their water consumption habits, according to a wine co-operative member.
Mauricio Castro of VinoDinámicos, a non-profit group of 10 Mendoza-based organic and biodynamic producers, told Forbes it was vital that producers changed the way they irrigated their grape crops.
“The wine industry will have no choice but to improve its use of water by trying to replace flood irrigation with drip irrigation,” he said, adding that the water channel route between the Andes to the estates must be properly maintained, and that the VinoDinamicos group had noted a “significant”decrease in snowfall over the past ten years.
Most of the water supplying Argentinean vineyards originates from high in the mountains in the form of glaciers and melting snowfall, and in recent years growers have observed a change in the amount of water available in groundwater and for agricultural purposes as a result of climate change. “Water is the main resource that we need to protect,” confirmed Anne Bosquet, president of Domaine Bousquet in Gualtallary in the Uco Valley, adding that water had become a limited resource and as a result new innovation was important.
“Water preservation is a pressing issue that we are tackling through sustainable technologies like drip irrigation and high performance water treatment plants which resuse water from the winemaking process.”
Since it was established in 1999 Domaine Bousquet has used organic and biodynamic methods of production. ‘This allows us to preserve the quality, health and biodiversity of our soils and ecosystems, which subsequtnely can absorb greater quantities of CO2 than conventionally farmed soils,” she added.