Gemma Fernández. Journalist. @gemmafdz
Bodega Emina, owned by Matarromera Group, remains firmly committed to health, innovation and sustainability. The winery has invested more than 35 million euros in R&D and innovation projects since 2005, focusing on the environment, agri-food biotechnology and parapharmaceuticals.
As a result, it has become the first fully sustainable winery in Spain, reducing its energy dependence and emissions, systematizing waste treatment, using organic farming methods and participating in environmental R&D projects.
From the winery's architectural design to its use of natural resources to produce energy and reduce its environmental impact, Emina has implemented diverse measures to slash CO2 emissions, be self-sufficient in terms of energy, and apply organic farming techniques, which have been implemented in 20% of its vineyards.
These initiatives gave rise to the EmInnova plan, which comprises environmental, innovation and health-related actions to create new products in the market with continuous R&D.
The company is focused on food, well-being and health, leveraging grapes' polyphenol content to create natural products with healthy ingredients with a view to improving their nutritional profiles.
Emina has also developed patents, creating new product categories such as EminaZero, the first alcohol-free wine; and Eminol, a natural grape extract with positive health implications and food, drug and parapharmaceutical applications.
Environmental sustainability actions
Its bodega in Ribera del Duero is the first fully sustainable winery in Spain, which includes several energy efficiency features, including a solar photovoltaic plant and water heating systems for industrial use and sanitation; a biomass plant to reuse grape harvest by-products; its own waste water treatment plant for water reuse; a highly-efficient irrigation system; and the first electric vehicle charging station at a Spanish winery.
Emina has also participated in research projects, such as Cenit Demeter, to develop grape-growing and wine making methods that fight climate change; and the European project Life HAproWINE, which aims to find a balance between sustainability and innovation in the sector and promote waste recycling, reduce environmental footprints and encourage the use of natural resources.
Emina Rueda is the first winery to produce a wine, in this case Emina Verdejo, with AENOR certification of its carbon footprint calculation, which provides information on the real impact of its production on the environment.
Awards for innovation
Emina's hard work and investment as part of its commitment to R&D and innovation in sustainability, health and new products have led to numerous distinctions.
It was awarded for being the first fully sustainable winery in Spain; it received the "Best Environmental SME" award by IESE Business School, in 2007; the "Best Eco-innovative Action in Solid Biomass" award from the Biodiversity Foundation and the European Social Fund as part of the 2007-2013 Green Jobs Programme, in 2010; the "Inventiveness in Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency" award from the Renewable Energies Training School in Castile-León, in 2011; and the European Environment Award, in the Spanish category, from Entorno Foundation, in recognition of its energy efficiency and environmental protection programme, in 2012.
The winery, which also built the largest molecular deconstruction plant in Europe, is the first in the world to produce an alcohol-free zero-calorie wine, which it calls EminaZero and for which it received the INNOVAL award at the Alimentaria Fair for the most innovative product in the Wines and Spirits category.
Most recently, two of its latest products, Emina Crianza 2011 and Emina Verdejo 2013, have also been recognized. The former received the Gold Medal at the prestigious Bacchus 2014 contest, organized by the Spanish Tasters Union and held in Madrid; the latter was classified as a BEST BUY by prestigious US magazine Wine Enthusiast, which recognized it as one of the world's best wines in terms of value for money.