is the overall ecological awarness among Spanish winemakers related to their attitudes towards natural wines?
The Agenda 2030 of the EU sets out the main guidelines for transitioning towards a resilient, green and safe economy. To this regard, the wine sector is experiencing an ecological transition in different ways such as increasing the production of ecological crops, or promoting the production of wines under more environmental-friendly and healthier (i.e., lower levels of SO2) products. These alternatives to conventional production are a smaller proportion of wines, in constant growth and demand, and follow alternative and minority practices, which range from sustainable to deeply philosophical thoughts. Among these methods there are organic, biodynamic and, more recently, natural wines. While organic and biodynamic wines are well defined as they are subject to certifications, the concept of natural wines is blurry and projects important discrepancies and conflicts among the different actors of the wine industry. In this context, this work examines the attitudes among Spanish winemakers towards natural wines and their relationship with their overall Ecological compromise. Therefore, an online questionnaire was completed by 307 Spanish winemakers. It consisted in three main parts: 1) evaluation of their attitudes towards natural wines with 32 effective questions (covering 8 different dimensions related to health, economy, ecology, tradition, mode, social identity, technology, and sensory) using a 4-point-Likert scale, 2) overall ecological awareness in their everyday life through a 13-item questionnaire measuring the frequency of following eco-friendly acts in a 6-point scale (an Eco-Score was calculated as the average of 12 out of the 13 questions), and 3) demographic information.
Results shows four main independent drivers involved in the formation of the different attitudes among Spanish winemakers towards natural wines related to the following dimensions 1) Ecological Awareness, Tradition and Social Identity, 2) Sensory and Technology, 3) Health, and 4) Economy. Interestingly, their attitudes in terms of ecological awareness, tradition and social identity towards natural wines are strongly linked to their overall ecological awareness. Five main clusters of winemakers could be identified, showing Cluster 1 (22% of participants) significantly higher Eco-score than Cluster 4 (12%). Clusters 2 (25%), 3 (21%) and 5 (21%) show an intermediate ecological awareness. The implications of this study are wide in that how experts, that are opinion leaders in the wine sector, conceptualise natural wines can help to understand their behaviour in terms ecological transition.
Issue: ICGWS 2023
1Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (Universidad de La Rioja-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Gobierno de La Rioja). Departamento de Enología, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain
2Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation, AgroSup Dijon, CNRS, INRAE, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France