The Alentejo Regional Wine Growing Commission - the body that controls, protects and certifies Alentejo wines - decided to develop the Alentejo Wines Sustainability Plan (WASP).
This Sustainability Plan, a pioneer in Portugal, free and voluntary, 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 Alentejo wines. The challenge ahead is to produce quality grapes and wine in a cost-effective manner, whilst protecting the environment and improving relations with employees and neighbours.
The plan follows the standard method of continuous improvement by being an organised system in three distinct sectors (Viticulture; Cellar; Viticulture & Cellar). This distinction between sectors relates to the type of members present in the Alentejo Regional Wine Growing Commission. The Sustainability Plan consists of thematic chapters with various associated criteria.
The production activities of the vineyard have a real impact and total dependence on the surrounding natural resources: sun, appropriate weather conditions, clean drinking water and healthy soils. Successful integration of these elements is essential.
Wine production has a very significant impact on the consumption of natural resources, particularly in terms of water, energy and materials. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that consumption of natural resources is monitored and process optimisation is achieved.
With unique natural features, Alentejo is home to numerous species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians in different sizes, shapes and colors. Thus, Alentejo is one of the Portuguese regions with the most diverse wildlife and one of the European ecosystems with a greater concentration of biodiversity.
The diversity of flora in Alentejo is one of the main differentiating elements of the region, as well as other strongly rooted characteristics, such as it’s food and homemade medicinal remedies.