Sustainability has long been of the utmost importance to Brancaia. We try to take the ecological, economic and social aspects equally into account in our company. Brancaia strives to continuously improve its sustainability. Many of the following points help us to become even more sustainable or are a result of our ecological way of working and thinking.
For two decades, year-round greening has formed the basis for biodiversity in our vineyards. It prevents soil erosion and the rapid evaporation of moisture. When birds and insects frolic among our vines, we are just as happy as perfect, ripe grapes.
Only in undisturbed soils can soil life develop optimally and enable symbioses between vines and green plants. The plants can break up and improve the soil structure down to deep layers, which improves the water balance for the vines in the long term.
In the meantime, a natural and diverse flora has developed in many of our vineyards. So we can do without sowing there and only sow in a targeted and selective manner when necessary.
Since 2012 we have been increasing the complexity and authenticity of our products with spontaneous fermentation. The yeast flora comes from our own vineyards and wine cellars and is the result of natural processes over a year. With the natural yeast flora, the wines from Brancaia are not only technically perfect and elegant, but also extremely local.
BUILDING AND SOLAR SYSTEM
The entire hot water requirement of the winery is covered by our own solar system. When building the basement, we also paid attention to sustainability and consciously only employed craftsmen from the area. When choosing materials, it was and is important to us to use resources from the immediate vicinity. It is not uncommon for us to recycle consumables such as barriques. Many decorative objects and the furniture were created in-house.
In all process steps, it is important to us that the quality of our products is always guaranteed and a valuable appearance is ensured. In 2010 we reduced the bottle weight of all our wines by 15 to 20 percent without affecting the appearance. Thanks to the weight reduction, we were able to significantly improve our already negative CO₂ footprint.
CO₂ emissions are a key sustainability issue. Brancaia has these measured regularly by an independent institute. The measurement includes all production steps from the cultivation of the vineyards through harvesting, vinification and bottling to packaging and all internal transports. We have had a significantly negative CO₂ footprint for years, which we will continue to improve in the future.
The more respect we show for nature, the healthier our vines are and the better the quality of our grapes. The fact that organic viticulture and uncompromising quality are one hundred percent compatible is one of the most important and most beautiful findings for us.
We do not use herbicides and insecticides out of conviction. Even before the official conversion phase, we complied with the biological guidelines. We have been certified since 2019. We are currently learning the techniques of biodynamic viticulture, which we will gradually introduce over the next few years.
Brancaia has been using a DSS (Decision Support System) since 2015. The DSS is an IT platform that collects data on weather stations and ground-mounted probes in real time. This information is evaluated with the help of advanced technology and gives us useful information for decisions about possible phytosanitary interventions or upcoming tillage.
The use of a DSS system is fundamental to the practice of sustainable agriculture as it increases awareness of the processes that regulate our ecosystem in vineyards and significantly optimizes the use of pesticides. The result is better grape quality and a further reduction in environmental pollution through the more targeted use of resources.
All of the wastewater from our wine cellar is treated using a phytopurification system. Phytopurification is one of the few 100 percent ecological and autonomous hygiene systems. The principle of this hygiene is based on the natural cleaning effect of certain plants. These plants create a natural ecosystem that is home to bacteria that can purify our wastewater.
The cardboard boxes used by Brancaia are made exclusively from FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) cardboard. This means that the paper raw material comes only from sustainably managed forests or wood plantations.
The FSC is committed to the sustainable and responsible use of forests worldwide. On the basis of principles and criteria which, in addition to protecting the forest, also take into account the ecological and social effects of forest management.
NOMACORC: The problem of faulty corks prompted us in 2004 to use Nomacorc for our base wines. This is made from sustainably growing raw materials based on sugar cane, protects the wine from oxidation and reduction and thus guarantees perfect drinking pleasure. Nomacorc is CO₂-neutral and 100 percent recyclable.
DIAM: For our Chianti Classico Annata and our N ° 2, we rely on Diam. Diam is a technological cork that, thanks to a patented cleaning process, can guarantee sensory neutrality and homogeneity. Its carbon footprint is negative.
NATURAL CORK: We still use natural corks as closures for our top wines today. It is unsurpassable both for wine and in terms of sustainability. Natural cork is 100 percent recyclable.
The sustainable management of the cork oak forests in the Mediterranean area not only secures valuable living space, but also makes a contribution to the fight against climate change. With an area of around 2.3 million hectares, these forests bind around 14 million tons of the greenhouse gas CO every year 2 . A cork oak, the bark of which is regularly harvested, binds more than three times as much CO 2 like an unused cork oak.