‘Biodiversity’ – also ‘biological diversity’ – is the name given to the variety of life on Earth. In a vineyard, biodiversity means the diversity of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms, present at the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels. This diversity is needed to support functions, structures and processes that are fundamentally important in this agro-ecosystem. ‘Biodiversity’ is thus an umbrella term for a wide diversity of agricultural and natural ecosystems.
One of the main concerns of the Santar Vila Jardim Wines project is to create a positive impact on biodiversity in its vineyards.
The more diverse a system, the more resilient or self-regulating it becomes. Preserving biodiversity in the vineyards results in a positive impact on the viticulture. In order to ensure a bio-diverse ecosystem, it is essential to preserve the habitat and the species that live in it. A balanced and natural environment, with a diversified agro-ecosystem, will improve wine production throughout the years.
Acknowledging the ecological value and the sensitivity of ecosystems, santar vila jardim wines was a pioneer by introducing vineyard plots within its centuries-old gardens.
These provide shelter and protection for different species of fauna.
The shrub and tree lines which enclose our vineyard plots constitute habitats for plants and animals, while providing shade and nesting spaces. They act as windscreens, helping reduce the erosion caused by wind and rainfall.
Vegetation, either sown or autochthonous, contributes to the vineyard’s maintenance and sustainability, thanks to its ability to attract beneficial organisms that feed on pests. In addition, it helps improve the soil’s structure (being reutilized afterwards in the form of mulching). It aids in reducing erosion and contributes to soil fertilization.
Diversity of grape varieties
The preservation of this diversity, and the small size of each land plot,
both contribute to the genetic diversity required to make ecosystems resilient, allowing these to respond to environmental challenges.
In addition to agricultural exploitation, the Wine Cellar at Santar Vila Jardim Wines also improves biodiversity, through the decisions it makes when selecting the products, merchandise and materials that it buys and recycles.
The Business & Biodiversity European Initiative was launched by the European Union, at the time of the Portuguese Presidency in 2007. Its main objective was to demonstrate the positive relationship between businesses and biodiversity, so as to encourage a significant contribution by the business enterprise sector to the latter’s protection – the goal being to stop the loss of biodiversity at the local, regional, national and global levels. In Portugal, the Initiative is managed by INCF (the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests).