The future and opportunities of organic wine, a debate at EcoWine2022

1 June 2022

The future and opportunities of organic wine, a debate at EcoWine2022

  • The NEIKER technology centre organises the symposium EcoWine2022: ‘Organic wine: the future of the sector’ to show the latest developments and potential in the production of organic wine
  • The objective of this event, with collaboration from the Organic Farming and Food Board of the Basque Country (EKOLURRA) and the Spanish Society for Organic Farming (SEAE), is to act as a meeting point for professionals of the winemaking sector
  • The event will take place on 1-3 June in the Villa Lucía gastronomic space in the medieval quarter of Laguardia, a town in Alava known for its underground wineries

The interest in and the need to find production methods that are more respectful of the environment has also reached winemaking. According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), between 2005 and 2019 the conversion rate of vines to organic production has increased by 13% a year on average. Every year almost ten million bottles of organic wine are sold worldwide, double 2013’s figure, as set out in a study by IWSR for Millésime Bio. For OIV, this trend can also be explained by current social demands, such as consumer health care and the environmental protection.

The Basque Country is not immune to this trend and, according to data by Ekolurra, the Organic Farming and Food Board of the Basque Country, in the last five years organic vineyards in this autonomous community have doubled, with a total of 984 hectares of certified organic vineyards, 944 of which are in Alava, compared to the 432.7 hectares recorded in 2014.

The increase in production of organic wine is also making itself known in the tastes of the consumer. In fact, around 35% of Europeans state that they consume organic wine, beer or spirits at least once a week. This data proves the potential of the wine and grape industry as a key subsector in the future of organic production.


EcoWine2022: meeting point for professionals of organic viticulture

In this context, the NEIKER technology centre, member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA) has organised the symposium EcoWine2022, in collaboration with the Organic Farming and Food Board of the Basque Country (Ekolurra) and the Spanish Society for Organic Farming (SEAE), to bring together leading professionals, researchers, technicians and students specialising in organic viticulture on a national and international level.

“The objective of EcoWine2022 is to offer the viticultural sector a space to share and debate the latest technical developments related to organic vine growing, highlighting its role as a mitigator of climate change as it is considered a carbon sink”, explains Amaia Ortiz, head of the Plant Protection and Production Department at NEIKER.

The event will take place on 1-3 June 2022 in the heart of La Rioja Alavesa in the town of Laguardia, known for its underground wineries, in the gastronomic space Villa Lucia. It will also have diverse activities related to the world of oenology: keynote presentations, viticultural experiences, symposia, round tables, wine dialogues and technical visits, and many others. Registration is already open. Sign up using this link.

During the event, lasting three days with a very participative approach, we will learn about the significance of ecosystem services, the links between organic production and wine quality, the development of and commitment to local cultures and, finally, the need to raise awareness and guide the vinegrowing sector toward organic production.

Spaces will also be created for networking where accomplished producers will be available to the attendees to share their knowledge and experience. The activity programme has already been released.


Strategic commitment to organic farming

EcoWine2022 seeks to support the wine sector in its organic transition and is part of the Ecological Production Enhancement Plan (FOPE) led by the Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government since 2014. The plan has the overall goal of increasing organic production and developing the associated transformation and commercialisation chain.

The symposium also fits into the European Union’s “farm to fork” strategy, which supports organic agriculture as an environmentally-friendly practice and aims for 25% of all farm land in the EU to be dedicated to this kind of farming by 2030.