First vineyard Zero Residue certified, in the Iberian Peninsula
Casa Américo Wines/Seacampo Lda. has obtained Zero Residue certification for its Quinta do Paço vineyard, making it the first vineyard in the Iberian Peninsula to be certified by ZERYA®.
This certification is based on the principle that it is possible to produce safe and profitable food using a sustainable production system that is environmentally friendly and capable of satisfying consumer needs.
The Zero Residue certification, the ZERYA® standard, defines residue-free production, with a minimum pesticide limit below 0.01 mg/kg. This means obtaining an analysis of the final product without quantifiable active substances/pesticides.
The Zero Residue certification allows a combination of chemical and biological phytopharmaceuticals (including auxiliary fauna and biotechnological control) to be used, as long as a quality product free of pesticide residues is obtained. Zero Residue certification, the ZERYA® standard, is only obtained in residue-free production.
Luís Sousa, the head of viticulture at Casa Américo Wines, started the process in 2019 on a small plot of 1ha of Touriga Nacional. This first phase of the process lasted three years. Only Zero Residue products were used to treat the vines. During the process, there was more rigorous and frequent monitoring of the vineyard. In the fourth year, after a positive evaluation, it was decided to extend the process to the rest of the property. In the end, Luís Sousa said that compared to previous years, when phytopharmaceutical products were used, the results were very positive.
Zero Residue certification is not restricted to the specific use of certain products, but also includes the management of flora, fauna, and rainwater. This is why Quinta do Paço was selected to start this process, due to the pre-existing infrastructure that facilitated this management. Examples of this management include the existence of the walls on the terraces, which serve as a shelter for snakes and lizards, the patches of woodland that allow animals to take refuge, the gardens with lavender hedges and others capable of attracting pollinators, the natural landscaping that allows for greater infiltration and the possibility of channelling rainwater for later use in irrigation.
A Zero Residue certified vineyard is more sustainable because it uses all its resources more efficiently, contributing to a smaller ecological footprint and promoting biodiversity. It is also beneficial for human health, as it produces Zero Waste grapes and wines.
Casa Américo Wines currently has two objectives related to Zero Residue certification: the first is to consolidate the whole process at Quinta do Paço and then extend it to other properties. The second is the Zero Residue certification process for wines from Quinta do Paço. This process is already underway and soon we hope that the first Zero Residue wine will be a Vinho de Púcaros Touriga Nacional.
Quinta do Paço, located in Nespereira, Gouveia, has around 15 hectares of vineyards and a variety of red and white grape varieties typical of the Serra da Estrela sub-region in the Dão region. It is one of Casa Américo Wines’ most beautiful estates and is now also the most sustainable, producing grapes free from pesticide residues.
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