Water efficiency project

We run a continuous improvement project aimed at reducing the amount of water used in our winery and bottling operations, per case of wine produced. We have been doing this in all our wineries since 2011. This is measured as a ratio of water use per litre of must. Our average ratio across all wineries is 0.8 litres water/litre must (when a ratio of 1:1 is already considered very good). We are aiming to reduce our total water consumption in our winery and bottling operations and will shortly be announcing new targets.

Irrigation reform

Irrigation in the Douro is common practice in some areas but has not been properly controlled or regulated. Water resources are not infinite and must be managed correctly. However, we believe that rising temperatures will mean that the Douro may in some areas, become unviable for grape-growing in the near-future without irrigation. In 2017 we wrote to the Portuguese Ministry for Agriculture, asking them to review this important area and to propose a sensible and sustainable management plan for water in the Douro.

Smart irrigation

In the instances when we irrigate, we use a computer-controlled system of irrigation drips, allowing us to pinpoint the vines that need additional support to survive the extreme summer temperatures. This system of smart irrigation allows us to intelligently manage our water resources, avoiding unnecessary waste. We only irrigate in situations where the crop is likely to be entirely fatally compromised without the addition of water. We never irrigate in order to boost the crop size.