Into the summer, with Viosinho Sparkling Brut Nature

Our commitment

We are trying to reduce the environmental impact of our winery wherever we can along the production chain. This starts with the grapes, includes all winery operations and ends with the packing and transport of the final product. We process locally harvested grapes only grown under integrated vineyard management, use lightweight low-carbon-footprint glass bottles, sterilize the winery with chemical-agent-free hot steam, employ energy saving inverter technology in our pumps and cooling machines, use recycled cardboard for most packaging and have our own grey water treatment plant.

Locally and manually harvested grapes

We hand-harvest our grapes at vineyards located within a few kilometers from the winery in Belém hence significantly reducing the environmental impact of heavy harvest machines and transportation.

Lightweight glass bottles

We use lightweight glass bottles for all our wines. This reduces the carbon footprint during bottle production, transport and recycling by 30% compared to a standard 600gr bottle, and by more than 100% compared to a heavy “luxurious” wine bottle weighting more than 1,2 kg.  For us, this means a relatively important commercial sacrifice as a majority of consumers continues to associate high wine quality and value with heavier and more ostentatious bottle models. We are actively lobbying here for a change in the public aesthetics and appreciation by explaining our customers the totally unnecessary impact of heavy bottles. We also use naturally grown high quality and carbon neutral cork produced in Portugal, with a significantly lower impact than any other type of synthetic cork or metallic cap screw. From 2022, all our bottle capsules will be made of biodegradable sugar cane residues.

Chemical-agent-free steam cleaning

Since 2021, we use a hot steam generator to sanitize all of our cellar equipment, tanks and oak barrels. This allows us to reduce to close to zero the use of aggressive, high-pH chemical cleaning agents and thus produce pH-neutral waste water.


Inverter technology

We have invested in energy saving inverter technology that allows our pumps and cooling machines to consume only exactly the amount of energy that is needed by the system at each given moment.


Packaging material

We use recycled paperboard and cardboard for all our packaging and comply with the recycling programs of the countries to which we deliver. We continue to refuse to work with delivery companies that require compulsory polystyrene bottle packaging, which we believe is totally out of line with current knowledge and technology. We live by the sea and can actually observe, with every large high tide, the sheer amount of small polystyrene bubbles swept up at the beach. We do not want to see our packing material end up this way.


Grey Water Treatment

When conceiving the winery, we have included a waste water treatment plant under the floor of the cellar door. You can actually see the four manhole covers under the large table, which give maintenance access to the treatment plant. This system reduces the biomaterial impact (CBO) by more than 90%. The rest is easily dealt with by the public water treatment plant our neighborhood.


Reducing our impact on oceans

We live and work by, and with, the ocean and have spent a lot of time thinking about how we – and other wine producers – can reduce their impact upon these oceans. We have also thought very concrete actions by consumers to reduce this impact either directly or by sharing their preoccupations with the wine industry. Here go to lists of action.

What the wine industry can do to reduce its environmental impact on oceans

  • Manage their energy footprint by using ultra-light weight bottles which tremendously reduce long-term material and energy costs all along the value and recycling chain of glass bottles
  • Use bio-compostable packaging that can be recycled, like PLA plastics and recycled cellulose products. Stop using polystyrene!
  • Treat your winery’s waste water before it goes into the public sewage system, especially during vintage when waste water has a very high CBO
  • Use energy efficient inverter technology for pumps, motors and cooling systems in the winery, creating very significantly less long term costs for everyone
  • Visit Adega Belém Urban Winery where you can see these measures at work, and discuss with us where we can get even better!

What wine consumers can do to reduce the industry’s environmental impact on oceans

  • Don’t buy wines in heavy or ultra heavy bottles, even if these look more prestigious. Heavy glass bottles do not increase the quality of wine and are strictly ostentatious.
  • Don’t accept mail orders that use polystyrene wrapping.
  • Ask your wine seller what measures the wineries take to minimise their energy and waste impact.
  • Ask your politicians to create legislation to make wine traceable with regard to their respective vineyards and wineries!
  • Rather pay more for wine made with love for the environment, the product and the consumer!
  • Visit us at Adega Belém Urban Winery, to discuss these issues – over a glass of delicious wine.