LCA of Portuguese Wine Vinho Verde

Posted by Quentin Bezier
Type: 
article
Comparative: 
no
Publication year: 
2012
Language: 
English
Code: 
Food, Plants
Product: 
Wine - vinho verde
Quality and sources
Is the study a: 
Detailed LCA
Was a critical review performed?: 
No
Practitioner(s): 
Belmira NETO
Practitioner(s): 
Ana Cláudia DIAS
Practitioner(s): 
Marina Machado
Summary
Functional unit: 
0.75 l of white vinho verde
Goal and scope of the summary: 
The purpose is to identify the environmental impacts occurring along the wine life cycle as well as the stages that mostly contribute to the environmental impact, as well as the associated causes. The stages considered include: (1) viticulture, (2) wine production (vinification to storage), (3) wine distribution and (4) bottles production.

Results show that for viticulture the contribution of each impact category is larger than 50 %. The production of
bottles is the second contributor varying from about 4 % (to eutrophication) to 26%(to acidification).Wine production and distribution are the subsequent contributors. The contribution of wine production varies between 0.6 % (to land competition) and about 13 % (from marine aquatic and sediment ecotoxicity 100a). The contribution of distribution is up to 14 % (to photochemical oxidation). Sensitivity analysis shows that significant changes are calculated for parameters as the nitrate leaching to groundwater, the emission of nitrous oxide from managed soil, and from runoff and leaching. Changes in these parameters are significant for only a few
impact categories as eutrophication and global warming.

Conclusions: Viticulture is the stage with the largest relative contribution to the overall environmental impact and the bottle production is the subsequent stage. In order to improve the environmental performance of the supply chain for wine, it is necessary to optimise the dosage of fertilisers and phytosanitary products used during viticulture. The sensitivity analysis demonstrates that the most influential parameters relate with the emission of nitrogen compounds associated with the use of fertilisers.

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