3 min

Kiwa Portugal Pops the Cork as a Certified Operator in Alentejo Wines' Sustainability Programme

The Portuguese wine sector, rooted in history since 2000 BC, continues to experience great growth and interest. In fact, wine tourism is thriving in the country, drawing domestic and international visitors to picturesque vineyards.

Customer preferences have fueled this growth, demanding high-quality, unique wines, indigenous grape varieties, and organic and sustainable options. And Portugal’s distinctive climate fosters optimal conditions for grape cultivation, resulting in such diversity and an exceptional range of wines found nowhere else in the world.

Paving the Way for Certified, Sustainable Portuguese Wines

As of 2020, Kiwa Portugal is qualified as a certification body with the Alentejo Regional Wine Growing Commission (CVRA), the body that controls, protects and certifies wines in the Alentejo region. Alentejo is nestled between the Algarve and Lisbon; it's a hot and dry region covering a third of the country, renowned for its top-notch red wines, proudly bearing the Alentejo DOC (Denominação de Origem Controlada) title.

The Wines of Alentejo Sustainability Programme (WASP), is an initiative led by the CVRA to propel Alentejo as a sustainable wine growing region. This Sustainability Programme, initiated a decade ago in 2013, is a pioneer in Portugal. It is free and voluntary and aims to provide its members with a tool to assess the current state of their activities and provide recommendations for using best practices to increase the competitiveness and sustainability of the region’s wines. The challenge ahead is to produce quality grapes and wine cost-effectively whilst protecting the environment and enhancing relations with those living and working there.

Portugese Wine Vinyard.jpgImage: Herdade Paço do Conde

WASP is a commitment to a philosophy of well-being that intertwines with eco-efficiency principles, reducing costs and maximising resource use — all while safeguarding the natural resources crucial for the artistry of wine production. It aims to craft Alentejo wines celebrated for their sustainable performance, blending insights from cutting-edge research and development projects. Furthermore, certification processes add a stamp of approval, mitigating reputation risks and ensuring Alentejo wines conform when it comes to sustainability.

“We are pleased to announce that Kiwa is a qualified Certification Body, joining forces with CVRA to champion sustainability in grape and wine production in the Alentejo region,” states Sofia Rodrigues, Agronomist at KIWA Portugal. “CVRA, backed by the University of Évora, has crafted a programme that protects authenticity, advocates quality, and places sustainability at the forefront. And it’s an honour to be a part of this,” furthers Sofia.

A Feather in Our Cap — Sociedade Agrícola da Encosta do Guadiana, Lda

Furthermore, as a qualified Certification Body for sustainable wines, Kiwa Portugal is pleased to announce our first certification with the PSVA — the Sociedade Agrícola da Encosta do Guadiana, Lda wine farm.

“Located in the picturesque Monte do Paço do Conde, South Portugal, near the Guadiana River, Sociedade Agrícola da Encosta do Guadiana, Lda, is a farm that boasts a rich legacy of over three centuries run by the Castelo Branco family,” states Sofia. “The farm has a strong sustainability focus, working to preserve biological diversity. Its certification is more than just a check-box; it celebrates and acknowledges the farm’s heritage, quality, and sustainability.”

“Kiwa Portugal is honoured to play such an important role in guaranteeing the authenticity and quality of certified Sociedade Agrícola da Encosta do Guadiana, Lda,” furthers Sofia, “And we are excited at the prospect of furthering the region’s rich viticulture heritage by following suit and certifying other wine deserving farms.”