Our heart beats for sustainability
Long before the topic of ENVIRONMENT, BIO or SUSTAINABILITY has entered our social thinking and action, our predecessor, Dietrich Wohlgemuth, out of conviction but certainly also due to his upbringing, which was based on thriftiness, consideration and holistic thinking, has established some rules maintained to this day in the winery: Empty bottles, for example, are taken back to the winery for self-delivery, rinsed and reused.
To this day, our wine customers return over 50% of the bottles! We forward corks returned to us in this way to the local ZOAR workshop in Alzey for recycling. It is also common practice to reuse used but still respectable cartons as often as possible. We are also sustainable when it comes to labels, others might say “old-fashioned”. We still stick our labels to the bottle with plant-based glue. This comes off better when rinsed, is biodegradable and produces no waste like comparable self-adhesive labels and their backing materials.
A whole is made up of many small pieces of a mosaic: Through these and another number of many, often small measures in business and private actions, we try to save valuable resources, bind year after year many thousands of tons of CO2 and can thus produce our wines in the future CO2-neutral.
In order to be able to communicate this in a verifiable manner, we have taken the path of certification with the German Institute for Sustainability (DINE) and are now allowed to mark our wines with the FAIRCHOICE label.
What We Do
Pioneer Vines: New Varieties with Resistance
In 2009, we made a fundamental decision: We planted the first so-called fungus-resistant vines, a cross of traditional domestic grape varieties with naturally resistant wild vines.We call them pioneer vines! Their natural ability to defend themselves against fungal attack (they close their leaf stomata when attacked by fungi, strengthen their cell walls, and use their own antimicrobial secondary plant compounds to defend themselves) saves us up to 80% crop protection – and thus many tractor passes, diesel fuel, and soil compaction. They are robust in the vineyard – and open up whole new horizons of taste with their delicate, complex aromas.
Today, pioneer grape varieties grow on almost 60% of our vineyard areas, confirming us again and again in our path.
In addition, the topic of humus buildup is at the top of our agenda. For years, we have been experimenting with different greening concepts and soil cultivation systems. Our goal is to increase the soil biodiversity of our vineyards, while at the same time increasing and sustainably sequestering CO2 each year. Hand in hand with the topic of soil vitality, also go our herbicide-free understock care and the renunciation of mineral fertilizers through legumes in the greening.
We have been producing our own electricity for years. We generate it via photovoltaics located on our winery roofs. In winter and at night, we currently (until the medium-term storage issue is solved) purchase electricity from the provider “NATURSTROM”. This electricity comes 100% from renewable sources, i.e. no CO2 emission and no radioactive waste. We cover our heating requirements – until we can hopefully soon switch to power-to-gas – with real biogas from the provider “Polarstern”, i.e. pure biogas from sugar beet pulp left over from sugar production.
With the introduction of the sustainable packaging “Bag-in-Box” for young drinking Easy-going wines, we want to try to reduce the production-intensive glass bottles. Bag-in-box wine remains fresh for up to 2 months after opening, can easily be stored in the refrigerator and the box with tap can be disposed of separately in a sustainable manner. Another big plus: the weight saving compared to wine in glass bottles is immense!
For our new hall for vineyard technology, we decided against a concrete foundation in favor of a deconstructible and CO2-lower dowel solution. The building was created entirely from unsealed wood, with timplement daylighting strips to save electricity and lighting technology, and a completely unsealed floor.