Herdade do Esporão – Water use efficiency in quality grapes production

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A company that produces wine and olive oil developed a strategy to improve its water use efficiency and receives AECM support for its water-saving agricultural good practices.

Project summary: 

Herdade do Esporão, located in the Alentejo, south of Portugal, produces quality wine and olive oil. The company follows an integrated management policy guided by social, environmental and economic sustainability objectives.

In 2013, it started developing a strategy to improve the efficiency of its resource use, particularly irrigation water to save resources and improve production quality.

Since 2015, the company receives support for the efficient use of water in agriculture from the RDP’s agri-environment Measure. It has implemented an action plan that involved a geological study of the plots, redefining the irrigation plans and installing irrigation monitoring and controlling equipment.

Project results: 

Water consumption reduced by around 1200 m3 of water/ha/year, equating to an overall decrease of 12.7% between 2015 and 2016.

Irrigation can be adjusted according to the weather conditions and age of the plants.

Less waste of water, as losses from the irrigation system have been minimised.

Wine production has less fluctuations both in quantity and quality as water stress of the plants are better controlled.