Ramon Bilbao’s First Steps On Journey To Sustainable Winemaking

Press Release


Ramon Bilbao’s First Steps On Journey To  Sustainable Winemaking


Ramón Bilbao - currently the number one wine brand in value in the Spanish market (Nielsen Spain MAT July 2019) - has announced that it has already exceeded targets on its sustainability drive in both its winery and vineyards.


Already certified by the Wineries for Climate Protection organisation, which has 24 member-producers in Spain, Ramón Bilbao’s target is to reduce its impact in the four basic pillars of sustainability - reduction of greenhouse gases, energy efficiency, water management and reduction of waste - by 20% between 2016 and 2020.  Targets for two of the pillars had already been achieved by the end of 2018.


Carmelo San Martin, Head of Sustainability at parent company Zamora Company, comments, “We are very happy with the results in only the second year of implementing the Wineries for Climate Protection programme, and are already well on the way to exceeding our 2020 goal.”


Audits show that the producer has reduced greenhouse gasses by 23%, waste by 91%, and energy efficiency had met 62% of its objective by the end of the second year. 


San Martin identifies the responsible use of water as the biggest challenge so far.  “We have intelligent irrigation in the vineyards to control the water-stress of each vine which helps avoid waste, but inside the winery is the biggest obstacle,” he says.  “It’s vital to have clean facilities, particularly at harvest time, and we have always used as much water as we need do this.  But now we are working out how to measure and replace some of our winery practices and we are investing in more efficient tools, so we are becoming more responsible.  Everyone on the team is getting on board with this.”


Ramón Bilbao has been part of family-owned Zamora Company’s portfolio since 1999.  “Securing a sustainable future is a ‘must’ for Zamora Company,” comments Director General Emilio Restoy.  “We have outlined our commitment to the environment in our corporate manifesto, and are determined to tangibly show our role in a mission shared by the whole Spanish industry: to be increasingly open and more ambitious in matters of sustainability.  What’s more, today it is impossible to operate in international markets without having a reliable, recognised environmental certification: it is your visiting card when you approach the more advanced markets, and this is where Zamora Company has big plans for the future.”


Ramón Bilbao’s sustainability agenda for 2020 includes solar panels at the winery to ensure supply of only ‘clean’ electricity and recycling water from previous treatment programmes.  In the vineyards, the winemaking team will also focus on precision viticulture using data from local weather stations to pin-point specific needs for additional irrigation and disease treatments, and follow a philosophy of high-altitude viticulture to lessen the need for pesticides and herbicides.  Research will also continue to look at preventions for wood diseases and grape fungus, and monitoring soil microbiota to help the overall health of the vine.


Wineries for Climate Protection is the first and only specific sustainability accreditation for the wine sector; it has the full backing of the FEV (the Spanish Wine Federation) and is the result of a collaboration with renowned certification body Bureau Veritas.  Its aim is to develop a method which respects international parameters about sustainable processes and practices, applied to the real situation of the wine industry in Spain, and to align it with the standards which are already widely disseminated among the players in the international winemaking sector - including those increasingly required by large retailers.


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Date of issue:                 7 January 2020

Further information:    emma wellings pr      020 8996 5168     alison@ew-pr.co.uk