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Transnational cooperation project to promote preservation and protection of the wine sector’s natural heritage in the SUDOE area

Axis 5: Environment and resource efficiency
Improving management methods of the common natural and cultural heritage through the implementation of networks and joint experimentation
STATE: Terminado
CODE: SOE1/P5/E0300
María del Carmen Saborido Díaz


SECTORS: Integrated management of the ressources and natural sites
1 July, 2016
30 June, 2019
RESULTS: 0000-00-00
Instituto Galego da Calidade Alimentaria. Consellería do Medio Rural. Xunta de Galicia (ES)

2. Asociación de Investigación Metalúrgica del Noroeste. Unidad I+D+i. Unidad de medioambiente ES
3. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Group of Environmental Engineering and Microbiology ES
4. Fundación Empresa-Universidad Gallega. EU Programmes Department ES
5. Gobierno de La Rioja. Consejería de Agricultura, Ganadería y Medio Ambiente. Dirección General de Agricultura y Ganadería. Servicio de Investigación Vitivinícola ES
6. Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Viticultura Duriense PT
7. Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin. Pôle Sud-ouest FR
8. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique. Centre de Recherche de Montpellier FR

This project is born with an ambitious objective: reducing by 90 per cent the environmental impact of wine production in south-west Europe. With this aim WETWINE will carry out a pilot experience to promote the rational use of the resources of the area and the reuse of waste from the grape and wine-growing industry. The project then plans to transfer the results to the major denominations of origin of the Sudoe space such as Rioja, Douro, Rías Baixas, and Pays d’Oc.


WETWINE is a project that reduces the environmental impact linked to wine production in the SUDOE area, the latter being responsible for 34% of the world's wine production. The system developed by WETWINE is based on the control of effluents linked to production and is characterized by its transferability, being exportable to other areas and larger scale.

Among its results, we should mention:

  • The creation of an environmentally friendly viticulture production system, based on anaerobic digestion and wetlands for water and sludge treatment. For this, the project has developed a pilot experience at the Santiago Ruiz winery (Pontevedra, Spain) which, thanks to the WETWINE system, has managed to reduce its environmental impact by 90% in the last three years. This pilot plant was developed based on an analysis of environmental impact during the harvest season, from which wetlands were planted. As a result, mud was generated, collected and analysed before being used in various conditions (climatic, productive, scale, etc.) to be able to make comparisons with common systems and thus, assess the real environmental benefit of the WETWINE system. The WETWINE system has been the subject of a scientific publication validating its value.
  • The creation of an organic fertilizer based on the WETWINE system. The result was that the fertilizers generated through the project are all less polluting than commercial fertilizers.
  • The development of an effluent treatment design software in the sector generated from the pilot experience. This software is addressed to wine producers so that they can assess the impact of the application of the WETWINE system to their production systems. This software has been made available and tested with 100 wineries and 12 different designations of origin. It can be accessed free of charge through the project website.
  • The development of a manual and guide for the modification of public policies. The project has developed a compendium of legislation on wine production in order to guarantee the adjustment of the WETWINE system to the different laws in force. The project has shown that the legal aspect is still an obstacle and for this, it has the help of the Association of Cross-Border European Borders to identify precisely the legal obstacles when implementing the WETWINE system.
  • The sensitization of the actors of the wine sector to the problems linked to pollution of production and climate change.