Vineyard GHG emissions primarily come from nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions
released from the soil. Some of the N2O emissions are caused by natural biological processes and some are linked to the use of nitrogen fertilizers. CSWA has developed an online model that can simulate specific vineyard emissions based on location, vineyard practices, and fetilizer use. To learn more about the DNDC (DeNitrification-DeComposition) model click here.
WAys to Minimize Vineyard Emissions
- Cover Crops keeps carbon in the soil
- Better Irrigation Management reduces anaerobic soils off gassing GHGs
- Increase Vineyard Biodiversity
- Reducing Tillage and Tractor Discing
- Optimizing Nitrogen Fertilizer Use
Source: CSWA Reducing Greenhouse Gases with Vineyard Practices
Winery emissions are primarily linked to energy use which includes electricity, natural gas, diesel and other fuels. One of the most significant emissions sources for most wineries is purchased electricity, which qualifies as a scope 2 emission type since the pollution associated with electricity generation typically happens off-site. Renewable energy and energy efficiency can both significantly reduce emissions from wineries.
Packaging is a large source of total emissions for an average bottle of wine. The wine bottle itself, while recyclable, requires large amounts of energy to produce. Light weight bottles and alternative packaging both represent opportunities to significantly reduce GHG emissions. With many glass bottles the bottle itself can weigh (858g) as much as the wine it contains (898g), which means added weight to transport the wine to market.
However, wine packaged in lighter weight bottles or alternative packaging has not fared well in the market place. Consumers typically associate heavier bottles with high quality wine. Many wine brands are still pursuing alternative packaging, including wine on tap keg distribution programs, but alternative closures represent a very small share of the overall wine market.
Wine produced in the California for domestic consumption is generally transported via truck or train. Using trains or a multi-modal approach (trains and trucks) can significantly reduce the impacts of wine distribution. Some wineries have been able to build storage warehouses in close proximity to rail lines. However, in general it appears far more common in the U.S. for wine to be distributed via truck.
Wine Greenhouse Gas Protocol and Accounting
FIVs, a trade association for wine, beer and spirits worldwide released a Wine Greenhouse Gas Protocol guide to help wineries benchmark the emissions for a facility or an entire wine company. This guide can be found at http://www.wineinstitute.org/files/FIVS_Intl_Wine_GHG_v2-2016-02-16.pdf