Bodegas de Argentina, an association of Argentine wineries, launched its Wine and Viticulture Sustainability Protocol in November 2012, developed in partnership with the Catena Institute of Wine. Bodegas de Argentina is an association of 254 wineries, representing 90% of Argentine wine production. Laura Catena, founder of the Catena Institute of Wine, brought this idea to Bodegas de Argentina along with the idea of using the California CCSW as a model. Also Bodegas de Argentina was convinced that the natural environment of California is closest to theirs, so many practices can be compared. (Catena Zapata is a family-owned winery that has been producing wines for 110 years and Laura Catena, the fourth generation, is now leading the company with her father Nicolas Catena, patriarch of Catena Zapata.)
Catena had been working for years with sustainable practices, but they saw the need for all Argentine producers to have a protocol that gives directions about how to work in a more sustainable way. The process of developing the protocol was very inclusive from the start. Bodegas de Argentina had already established a special commission for sustainability issues (carbon footprint, water footprint, recycling, etc.). The protocol was evaluated by this commission for three years.
In 2015 the Sustainability Commission of Bodegas de Argentina added provisions and requirements to the sustainability protocol for certification. And in June 2015 Bodegas Esmeralda (Catena Zapata) received the certification becoming the first sustainable certified Argentine winery, after passing an audit by SGS Argentina.* Annual audits will be required to maintain the certification.
*SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company whose certification services demonstrate that products, processes, systems or services are compliant with national and international regulations and standards.