Devoted protagonists for sustainable winegrowing
Tasting a wine is a sensory approach to the magical secrets of nature that have been worked out into substance. What is the secret ingredient that turns stone, sunlight, soil and vine into a sense exciting wineful experience?
Most Cretan viticulture is high-altitude: up to 850 meters above sea level. That fact, combined with the adaption of indigenous varieties and some first-class limestones and marls, means that Cretan wine defeats the expectations generated by its latitude.
The task of the Futouris project for the last couple of months included training the winegrowers about sustainability aspects. Training started by asking the farmers to complete self-assessment questionnaires about the current sustainability performance of their practices and attitudes in the vineyards. Key performance indicators had been selected from the California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing of California and adapted for the Cretan terroir. Further elaboration on the KPI’s for sustainability assessment in wine-grape growing was based on the work of Santiago-Brown et al.
Self-assessment evaluation sheets included questions about fifteen thematic groups, including viticulture, soil management, vineyard water management, pest, disease and weed management, ecosystem management, energy efficiency, material handling, human resources, relations with neighbors and community, air quality.
Training went on by using the results of the query to focus on sustainability issues that needed to be addressed during the education workshops that were realized in April 2016.
Visiting the vineyards of the 24 participants in the Futouris project and realizing the sustainability education workshops has been an inspiring experience for the Scientific Committee of the project. Mainly because the committee got again in close contact with the secret ingredient of the nominated white and red Cretan spirits: the devotion of protagonists in producing winegrapes; by respecting nature and its people; by learning about innovating methods for a sustainable management of their vineyards.
In March 2016, Local Food Experts presented the current status of the project in the Futouris general assembly and in ITB Berlin.
The projects aims at developing Crete as a sustainable winegrowing region and destination in the Mediterreanean Sea.