Innovative approaches to reach conservation of biodiversity and natural resources, opportunities for growth with more value for the vineyard, and protection of the environment are mandatory to the best practices of vineyards. Water quality, soil, biodiversity conservation, and air are variables to consider during this process.
Agriculture has a key role in promoting and maintaining biodiversity, besides the benefits from such existence biodiversity. Farms due to their production have or should be an important mission in this field, to guarantee also their future in terms of quality and quantity of their products. Vineyards and farms should require conservation initiatives and promotion of biodiversity depending on the characteristics of their region, due to different aspects of nature, from soil to weather, just to give some examples. From the consumer’s perspective, the “normal” farm vs intensive farm is different, and they are, however, both can benefit from improvements on agricultural practices to help minimize negative impacts.
Natura 2000 European Union program developed in partnership between 28 countries for land and sea, involving different institutions. Government and private institutions have the goal of long-term survival of Europe´s most valuable and threatened species and habitats. This program has two lists: birds directive and habitats directive. The conservation and sustainable approach put the main focus on people working with nature instead of against it.
Related to vineyards (because there are other issues on the program) the goal is the protection of certain areas, such as :
- Maintenance of riparian zones, hedges, and groves;
- Promotion of crop over between the vineyard lines;
- Especially in Southern Portugal, the cultural landscape and multifunctional agricultural system;
- Maintenance of natural vegetation in borderlines and uncultivated areas;
- Protection of water sources, since hot temperatures create evaporation and dry soil surface. The Alqueva water barrier had a tremendous impact on agriculture in Alentejo, however there still areas where should be preserved.
- Erosion mitigation actions
Notice that each wine region should have small different approaches due to variables of wine production. Grape varieties can be common to all regions such as Touriga Nacional but soils and climate are different. Another point of view is other grape varieties specific from a single wine region. Jampal in the Lisboa wine region or even Encruzado in Dão wine region is specific. Innovative approaches are required to new paths of preservation and innovation on winemaking.