The Italian Almanac

vineyard

Italian Science - September 30

Wine may not only good for the heart and soul but could also help combat global warming, according to a new study from Italy's National Research Council (CNR). The study found that vineyards are similar to forests in their ability to act as a natural 'sponge', absorbing and neutralising gases like carbon dioxide, one of the leading causes of the greenhouse effect which has been heating up the Earth's atmosphere.

One hectare of vineyards is capable of absorbing up to three tonnes of CO2 a year. CNR came to this conclusion after carrying out tests at a Tuscan vineyard which produces the prestigious wine Brunello di Montalcino. The Universities of Florence, Bologna, Turin, Foggia, Udine and Sassari all collaborated on the project.

A vineyard was chosen in view of the fact that in Italy the trend is more towards growing quality products rather than maintaining large areas of forest land. A team of between 10 to 15 researchers monitored every leaf of every vine for a period of two weeks between July and August. Their findings showed that the Brunello vineyard could absorb three tonnes of CO2 a year.