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E. & J. Gallo Winery receives gold award for excellence in multi-brand, sustainable winegrowing programs

Additional wineries from Portugal, Italy and the U.S. receive medals for their outstanding ground-to-glass sustainability programs

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT®) is pleased to announce Casa Ferreirinha, a Portuguese reference brand in Douro Wines, as its platinum medal winner in BRIT’s 2019 International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing competition. Casa Ferreirinha topped the field this year based on the winery’s ongoing sustainable programs that address both the three key factors of sustainability – environmental, economic, and social aspects — as well as superior wine taste. Five additional wineries –  two from the U.S., two from Italy, and one from Portugal, also won awards based on their strong sustainable programs.

Casa Ferreirinha’s current sustainability accomplishments include: vineyard certification by the International Organization of Biological Control (IOBC) Integrated Production (IP) standards; growing floristic biodiversity as a means of promoting natural enemies of grapevine pests like the grape moth; preservation of indigenous grapevine varieties like the Touriga Nacional; use of renewable energy (hydro, wind, and solar); aggressive short-term plan for reduction in CO2e emissions; and education, medical, and insurance programs available to its workforce. The vineyard has been working towards this award for almost a decade. In 2009, Casa Ferrreirinha was a founding member of the Portuguese Association for Grapevine Diversity (PORVID), a non-profit association promoting biodiversity and managing the preservation of indigenous grapevine varieties like the Touriga Nacional.

Casa Ferreirinha is a pioneer brand in the production of Douro Wines. Innovation married with tradition, as well as the profound knowledge of the Douro Region, are the guarantee of exceptional wines such as Vinha Grande, Quinta da Leda, Callabriga and Barca Velha.

“Casa Ferreirinha and its parent organization, Sogrape Vinhos, have put together an impressive sustainability program culminating with the outstanding taste and quality of its Quinta Da Leda wine,” said Dr. Ed Schneider, BRIT’s president and executive director. “From their sustainable programs in the field, to their progressive workforce and community programs, to being good leaders and stewards within the Portuguese wine industry; we congratulate their achievements.”

“Sogrape has been for a long time promoting excellence sustainable practices at environmental, economic and social levels. This recognition reaffirmed by BRIT means to us an acknowledgment of our work in this field, in particular of all sustainability programs of Casa Ferreirinha (this year awarded platinum) and Sandeman, cherishing not only the progress in viticultural practices, but also on the initiatives applied to the winemaking processes, or even on social programs to workers and community,” said António Oliveira Bessa, board member at Sogrape Vinhos, SA. “We believe that, more and more, sustainable production and consumption will be a distinctive factor of Sogrape brands.”

The awarded wine was Casa Ferreirinha’s Quinta da Leda, 2015

Additional BRIT sustainable awards went to the following outstanding wineries:

Gold medals

  • Sandeman, Avintes, Portugal. Submitted Sandeman Vintage Port 2016
  • Tasca D’Almerita, Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Submitted Tascante 2015 – Tascante Estate
  • Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery, Platte City, Missouri. Submitted Estate Norton 2016
  • E. & J. Gallo Winery, Modesto, California. Submitted J Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016. Gallo receives special recognition for its corporate-wide, multi-brand sustainability programs and for the organization’s industry leadership.

Silver medal

  • Ruffino, Pontassieve, Italy. Submitted Riserva Ducale Oro

Presentation of the platinum award to Casa Ferreirinha will be made in Fort Worth on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 during BRIT’s Vine to Table dinner and auction fundraising event.

Competition for the new BRIT/FIVS international sustainable winegrowing award beginning in 2020 starts May 2019. All competition rules, judging criteria, and submission dates remain the same. Please check the BRIT web site for details:  www.brit.org/wineaward

About the Botanical Research Institute of Texas

The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT®) is a nonprofit, international research and education organization that collects and safeguards plant specimens, studies and protects living plants, and teaches about the importance of conservation and biodiversity to the world.

BRIT’s scientists and educators work together in achieving the organization’s two-fold mission of conservation and education. Its scientists travel the globe investigating habitats, finding rare and endangered plant species, and documenting biodiversity. BRIT educators create new ways to turn information into knowledge through outdoor discovery, discussion, and experiential learning for both students and teachers. 

BRIT is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.brit.org.

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