Argentinean winemakers must do more to use water wisely, says co-operative chief

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.

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