Matarromera Winery, Pago de Carraovejas and Ence join forces to offer sustainable solutions to vine pruning waste

Matarromera Winery, Pago de Carraovejas and Ence – Energía y Celulosa join forces to launch the VINEBOX project in search of sustainable solutions for a comprehensive and cascading valorization of vine pruning waste.

The consortium, through this R&D project, aims to boost the management of collection and storage of vine shoot prunings in the wine sector for the production of renewable cellulose pulp and its subsequent validation through paper and demonstrators. cardboard. The paper produced will be used in the manufacture of cardboard for the production of wine boxes and for the design of innovative labels that are 100% renewable in nature.

Through this project, a sustainable solution is offered to the wine sector, in order to comply with the requirements of the entry into force of the new Law 7/2022 on Waste and Contaminated Soils for a Circular Economy, which does not allow the burning of plant waste generated in the agricultural environment. Thus, this alliance provides relevant scientific-technical solutions based on pillars such as sustainability and digitalization, social and territorial structuring and gender equality of the National Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan 2021-2026.

“For us, sustainability is more than a commitment: it is our daily life; It is a stretch of the road that we have a long way to go. Respect for our environment is part of our philosophy, of the effort we make to implement measures in the present that are reflected in the future,” says Pedro Ruiz, CEO of Alma Carraovejas.

Eva Navascués, director of R&D&i at Pago de Carraovejas, maintains that with VINEBOX “it is possible to close the cycle by taking advantage of this material from vine shoots in the wine labels and packaging boxes that we use in the wineries. It would be demonstrated that avoiding the burning of vine shoots not only results in environmental protection, but also allows for sustainability in a broad sense, including social and economic sustainability.”

“Above all, we are winegrowers and farmers, and everything we do in our wineries to be more sustainable is out of obligation to the land, it is our duty to take care of it and transmit our best legacy to the following generations,” explains Carlos Moro, president and founder. from Matarromera Winery. “Until not many years ago, we believed natural resources were unlimited, and there was no awareness of the serious environmental consequences of “produce, use and throw away.” Companies have not only the moral responsibility to counteract the negative impact that our activity generates on the environment, but also to commit to more balanced, more sustainable, more responsible and more efficient forms of production, and this project is a clear example of this. ”.

Sonia Villanueva Sánchez, director of quality and R&D&i at Bodega Matarromera, explains that this research project allows them to deepen their strategy of incorporating co-products into their production process. Granza was the first Spanish agri-food brand to use labels with paper made from grape waste, replacing the previous 15% of virgin pulp. Now the results are broader, since the project allows the vine shoots to be integrated into the production of Naturcell cellulose, in order to generate labels and cardboard boxes.

Ence is a company characterized by its high sustainability standards in all its production processes. In fact, it is the first company in the sector to have an Environmental Product Declaration for its pulp. Thanks to the responsible use of natural resources, such as wood and biomass, it is a leading company in the development of the circular bioeconomy.

For Antonio Casal, Director of Pulp Business Development at Ence, this alliance “demonstrates once again the leading role of Ence in promoting the circular bioeconomy, not only in its production process, but also in seeking synergies with other sectors, such as the wine industry in this case, to innovate and look for new ways to contribute to sustainable development.” “We want to continue providing new solutions to the challenges posed by an increasingly demanding society, and to which we are providing alternatives based on responsible use of natural resources,” Casal added.

The project, co-financed by the European Union and the Center for Technological Development and Innovation (CDTI) with FEDER funds, has a budget of €879,539.00 and an execution time of 30 months.

In addition, the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC), the Technological Institute of Packaging, Transport and Logistics (Itene), and the company Athisa, which provides solutions for the packaging service, participate as entities subcontracted by the companies. collection and storage of shoot prunings.