We’ve talked before about the challenge of climate change and some of the things winegrowers and winemakers are doing to adapt to a world of higher temperatures and more extreme weather conditions.
So, we were delighted to read this week about a major milestone achieved by Bodegas Verum, one of our favourite wineries in Castilla La Mancha. This family-run project has managed to make the 2021 vintage of their Las Tinadas Airén de Pie Franco white wine the world’s first “negative emission” wine.
For those who aren’t that clear on climate change terminology, allow us to explain. You’ll often hear climate change conversations talking about “carbon neutrality” or “net zero”. These terms refer to a situation where any CO2 released into the atmosphere from human activity is balanced out by an equivalent amount of CO2 being removed. The “negative emissions” achieved by Bodegas Verum takes that idea a stage further. It means removing more CO2 from the atmosphere than is emitted into it.
To make that possible, Bodegas Verum teamed up with the University of Castilla La Mancha and its spin-off environmental engineering company CO2AFP. Using the company’s patented technology, the team were able to successfully capture the CO2 emitted during alcoholic fermentation and use it to produce sodium carbonate.
Some of that sodium carbonate is then used as an ecological cleaning product for the winery installations. Some is supplied to the winery’s bottle providers for use in the manufacture of bottles. And more broadly, sodium carbonate is a product with a wide range of uses in the chemical industry.
And because CO2 capture is an exothermic process – ie it releases energy – Verum plan to capture that energy and use it to reduce their dependence on external energy sources in the future.
Verum have made 8,000 litres of Las Tinadas 2021, and in the process, they’ve managed to produce 1,500 kg of sodium carbonate and eliminate 640 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere. That’s about the same amount of CO2 that would be produced by driving 4,500 km in an average car. Output for the 2022 vintage is even higher at 25,000 litres and the plan is for the benefits to grow exponentially as the technology gets taken up by more and more wineries around Spain.
We’re big fans of Bodegas Verum here at Simply Spanish Wine and we already stock several of their wines, including the 2020 vintage of Las Tinadas. But fear not, we are in the queue for some of the 2021 vintage and will let you know when it arrives.
In the meantime, you can enjoy one of the current vintages from the Bodegas Verum collection, happy in the knowledge that you are helping to support a winery at the forefront of Spain’s green revolution.