Allegrini 2018

From the OIV General Assembly, 18 resolutions for sustainability in the vineyard and winery

At WineNews the comment of Oiv vice-president Luigi Moio: “a lighter impact of viticulture on the environment”

Sustainability, the biological turning point, eco wineries, soft oenology: the General Assembly of OIV - International Organization of Vine and Wine n. 18, on stage in recent days, has lined up the priorities of the producing countries for the viticulture of tomorrow, which will be by necessity, more and more green and less and less impacting. In all, there are 18 resolutions adopted, which touch on the most diverse areas, from viticulture and the environment to oenological practices, from oenological products to methods of analysis, from economics to health and safety. The development and digital conversion will also be important, particularly in this context marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. The OIV project foresees, among other objectives, the establishment of a world observatory on digital conversion of the wine sector, the development of a new system for the collection and processing of sectoral data, the creation of a new OIV website and a new collaborative platform to improve the exchange of information between the Secretariat and Member States. All also agree on the introduction of the Russian language among the official languages of OIV.
Among the resolutions concerning new oenological practices that will complement the International Code of Oenological Practices, the OIV Guide for the identification of hazards, critical control points and their management in the wine industry, intended to harmonize the hazard analysis and propose examples of risk levels and critical points that may occur during the winemaking phases. There are many technical points, which concern in particular the use of additives and oenological products. And OIV is also expected to give a definition of natural wine, both from a technical and social and cultural point of view, a complex and intricate matter, which the General Assembly has not yet dissolved. Another issue: water, which is fundamental for dispersing oenological products, but which remains in small percentages in wine, a serious problem for some countries. Reflections and practices that are increasingly oriented towards sustainable viticulture, also through the use of resistant varieties.
Another important concept concerns eco wineries, i.e. wineries built with respect for the environment. Always within the framework of a soft oenology, i.e. with as little intervention as possible, guaranteed first of all by the balance between variety and territory. The vision that comes out of it, however, is unitary: the 46 member countries of OIV have in general a common vision, with the countries of the New World increasingly closer to those of the Old World. Another point touched, the one concerning wine derivatives: aromatized wines, wines with low alcohol content, or without alcohol, on which it is necessary to decide whether to call them wine or not. Finally, as far as economy and law are concerned, OIV has adopted the definition of white wine with maceration: a white wine obtained from the alcoholic fermentation of a must in prolonged contact with marc, including skins, pulp, grape seeds and possibly stalks. This definition allows, in particular, to distinguish wines obtained with the ancient Georgian method of traditional winemaking in kwevri, inscribed in 2013 in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Lots of arguments, lots of news, that will guide the work in the vineyard and in the cellar in the coming years, as explained to WineNews by Professor Luigi Moio, Professor of Oenology at the University of Naples and vice-president of OIV. “The effect of the resolutions adopted by the Assembly is a lighter impact of viticulture on the environment and the planet. Sustainability, approach and organic viticulture, plant resistance, eco-compatible zones, living soils, eco wineries and soft oenology all go in this direction. But also in calming consumers who, in recent years, have been confused about the agri-food world, around which confusion and often untrue and distant from the technical and scientific reality reigns. It is necessary to clarify, spreading complicated concepts in a simple way. Wine has the advantage of being the only product in the world, or almost, mono-ingredient: to make a wine you only need a bunch of grapes, nothing else. The bunch contains all the components necessary to make wine; it is the casket that contains the entire quality of a wine. If the bunch is healthy it does not take anything else, the rest of the interventions fall within the concept of corrections, there is no need to intervene in an invasive way. To intervene as little as possible, however, it is necessary to be able to count on an important stock of knowledge, at all levels, from soil and its microbiology to plant physiology, from vineyard management to transformation and then to oenology. Everything we do as Oiv goes in this direction. Then, of course, there are all the aspects related to market management within international economic agreements - concludes Professor Moio - but also to digitization, which is fundamental to ensure the transparency of everything the organization does”.

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