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Finca Antigua uses artificial grass as innovative sustainable winemaking practice

Environmentally friendly farming will play a key role in sustainable vineyards in the future. At Familia Martínez Bujanda, winemaking tradition has always been linked to methods that both improve our vineyards’ yield and prove to be respectful of the environment.

Accordingly, we implement strategies and systems that do not harm the planet. As part of these strategies, at Finca Antigua we have been testing an innovative solution: covering vineyard areas with artificial grass from football stadiums so as to mulch the soil surface and save irrigation water.

We have been using faux grass for a year now and the outcome is very positive. Currently, there is one hectare covered with artificial grass at Finca Antigua, and we have managed to reduce soil water evaporation by 90%. Artificial turf absorbs heat and prevents soil warming and water evaporation with it. Unlike straw, which is widely used as mulch, our solution prevents sunlight from reflecting on the vines because it is dark. As a consequence, grape ripening does not take place before it is expected to.

Covering the land with recycled material that remains stable for the entire grapevine lifecycle prevents weeds from growing, so using tractors to pull up weeds is no longer necessary, which saves fuel and reduces the carbon footprint. Moreover, artificial lawn helps to keep the desired level of water in the vines.

The full impact of faux grass on the soil will become evident in a few years’ time. It is only then that we will be able to draw full-fledged conclusions.

Finca Antigua is the most innovative and technology-oriented of Familia Martínez Bujanda’s wineries. Committed to sustainable winemaking, it focuses the latest resource-saving methods.

Artificial grass is the ideal supplement to the use of a nanotechnology-based system to optimise water use, saving irrigation water by 50%. Finca Antigua’s environmental commitment earned the estate the Award for Best Water Management, given last year by the Regional Government of Castile-La Mancha.

At Familia Martínez Bujanda, we are perfectly aware of our environmental responsibility, and we are trying to lead the way towards increasingly sustainable viticulture.

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