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An Overview on Sustainability in the Wine Production Chain

Published: 17 March 2021
 by  MDPI AG
Beverages , Volume 7; doi:10.3390/beverages7010015

Abstract: Despite the great relevance of sustainable development, the absence of a shared approach to sustainable vitiviniculture is evident. This review aimed to investigate sustainability along the entire wine chain, from primary production to the finished wine, with specific attention to three key dimensions of sustainability (environmental, social, and economic) and relating measures. Therefore, it was decided to: investigate the ways in which sustainability is applied in the various stages of the production chain (wine growing, wineries, distribution chain, and waste management); analyse the regulations in force throughout the world and the main labelling systems; provide numerical information on sustainable grapes and wines; study the objective quality of sustainable wines and that perceived by consumers, considering that it affects their willingness to pay. The research highlighted that rules and regulations on organic production of grapes and wines are flanked by several certification schemes and labelling systems. Although sustainable wines represent a niche in the market, in recent years, there has been an increase in vineyards conducted with sustainable (mainly organic and biodynamic) methods, and a consequent increase in the production of sustainable wines both in traditional and emerging producing countries. Although (or perhaps precisely for this reason) no significant differences in quality are found among sustainable and conventional wines, consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainably produced wines. This finding should encourage wineries to both put in place environmental activities and intensify their communication.
Keywords: consumer preference / organic / natural wine / wine market / biodynamic / purchase behaviour

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