Greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural phase of wine production in the Maremma rural district in Tuscany, Italy

  • Simona Bosco | Land Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy.
  • Claudia Di Bene
  • Mariassunta Galli
  • Damiano Remorini
  • Rossano Massai
  • Enrico Bonari


In recent years, there has been an increasing interest from retailers, industries and environmental associations in estimating the life cycle of greenhouse gases emitted in the atmosphere from everyday products and services, also known as carbon footprint (CF). Life cycle assessment (LCA) is the most common methodology used to evaluate the environmental impact of a product. This approach was largely used in many industrial sectors and was also recently applied to quantify the environmental impact of the agri-food chain. Within agri-food products, wine is one of the most analysed, both for its importance in economic production and in the world distribution market. The present study is a part of the Carbon Label Project carried out in the wine production chain in the Maremma rural district (Tuscany, Italy). The project assesses the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from wine production for labelling purposes. Here, we evaluated the environmental performances of four high quality wines for carbon labelling. The international standards ISO 14040 and ISO 14044, and the Product Category Rules (PCR) Wine from Fresh Grapes (except sparkling wine) and Grape Must for the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) certification, specifically for Climate Declaration, were used in order to carry out our analyses. The functional unit (FU) used here was one 0.75 L bottle of wine. The system boundaries were set from the vineyard planting to the distribution and waste disposal. The global warming potential (GWP) of four investigated wines was found to lie between 0.6 and 1.3 kg CO2-eq./bottle, showing a value comparable with literature. With all the four wines analysed, the agricultural phase covered, on average, 22% of the total GWP/bottle, while the main impact was in the production of the glass bottle. The results showed that the vineyard-planting phase has a significant impact on the wine CF, thus it has to be considered in the life cycle, while in literature it is frequently omitted. On the contrary, the pre-production phase did not present a relevant impact. The use of nitrogen fertilisers, the grapes’ yield and N2O emissions were the parameters that mostly affected the carbon footprint in the agricultural phase, as underlined by the sensitivity analysis.



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Original Articles
agri-food chain, carbon footprint, global warming potential (GWP), life cycle assessment (LCA), vineyard management, wine-growing farm.
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How to Cite
Bosco, S., Di Bene, C., Galli, M., Remorini, D., Massai, R., & Bonari, E. (2011). Greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural phase of wine production in the Maremma rural district in Tuscany, Italy. Italian Journal of Agronomy, 6(2), e15.

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