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Sustainability spotlight: Bobal de San Juan

Following our Celebration of Sustainability — a collaboration between db Asia and ProWine — which took place in Singapore in April, we spotlight one of our worthy winners doing its part to protect old vines and its local community.

Sustainability spotlight: Bobal de San Juan

On Wednesday 24 April, members of the trade gathered at ProWine Singapore to celebrate sustainability. The exhibition played host to an inaugural event highlighting the best green initiatives in the drinks industry, launched as a collaboration between ProWine and the drinks business Asia.

Here, we speak to one of our winners, Bobal de San Juan, to find out more about the work its founders are doing to better the planet.

Being a family winery since 1831, Bobal de San Juan endeavours to put people at the centre.

Found in Spain’s Utiel-Requena DOP, the winery works exclusively with the indigenous grape variety Bobal, harvested in old vineyards that were planted 40 to 80 years ago. This includes the 10-hectare organic certified family-owned vineyard, El Albardin, where the family carries out sustainable practices including green cover, handpicking and does not irrigate.

The judges wanted to celebrate this wine producer for having local people and communities in mind, and keeping regional traditions and its old vines alive.

Bobal de San Juan hires from the surrounding community for its cellar workers to counter depopulation in rural Spanish inlands, giving local people the opportunity to make a living in their hometown, as an alternative to relocating to the cities and having to abandon their family-owned vineyards.

Marta Valsangiacomo, a fifth-generation member of the family, says people are at the core of the winery’s sustainability mission, which covers every aspect from ensuring equal pay for women to providing car-sharing for workers. “Equity and transparency all belong in our sustainability plan,” she says. “We’ve got people who have been working with us for more than 35 years, as well as people who have just started.”

They are all are equally important to the winery and its survival. Over the past 10 years, Bobal de San Juan has done more to focus on environmental sustainability. “We travel around, and we see that climate change is an issue, and so we started to become concerned about it,” Valsangiacomo says.

The winery is now in the process of working with its winegrowers to become certified organic.

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