We recognize the ecological value
and the sensitivity of ecosystems
Business & Biodiversity
The European Initiative on Business & Biodiversity was launched by the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union in 2007, aiming to evidence a positive relation between Business and Biodiversity and to integrate Biodiversity into Business management, therefore promoting the significant role Business can have halting the Global Biodiversity loss. The Portuguese platform is managed by the Portuguese Government through the Institute for Nature and Forest Conservation (ICNF), and the official Webpage of the platform can be found at their website HERE.
Why worry about biodiversity?
Environmental & Biodiversity Policies
Recent generations are privileged, but also required, to connect in a world which concepts such has “Ecology”, “Recycling”, “Footprint”, “Sustainable Development” have emerged, and are part of our daily lives. Consequently, consumers also adopted deep healthy lifestyle and environmental concerns. Therefore, strategically, the definition of Environmental & Biodiversity Policies was indeed necessary to link our Core Values, the Quality and Exporting Profiles of our wines and the modern consumer’s preferences.
These documents which state these Policies can be found in the following links: Environmental & Biodiversity Policies
How do we inlcude the biodiversity concern in our business model?
Boas Quintas recognizes the importance of Biodiversity for its activity. In fact, the agricultural sector in general, and viticulture in particular is highly dependent of Biodiversity and the support services Biodiversity provides. These include the unique and extraordinary autochthonous grape varieties we heritage and use to produce our wines, the contribution to a healthy soil (fertilization, fewer erosion, etc.), the regulation of natural cycles, pollination and natural pest control, amongst others.
With this in mind, and supporting our Biodiversity Policy, we have signed in April 2014 a commitment with ICNF in the context of the Business&Biodiversity Initiative. Our strategy and commitment and was designed in 3 main pillars:
Vineyard and Habitat Management
This pillar focuses not only on the promotion of healthy vineyards and high quality grapes (with fewest pesticides), but also on the promotion and conservation of endangered wildlife and the respect of the Natura 2000 Network, in which some of our vineyards are located. We aim to harmonize our economic activity with Biodiversity protection.
Biodiversity Characterization and Monitoring
We aim to increase the knowledge of Biodiversity at our estates (and indirectly at our country) and to address the impact, either it be good or bad, of our activity and management options on Biological communities. This also serves as the pillars for communicating our achievements.
This pillar aim to communicate and raise awareness about Biodiversity Conservation towards our clients, partners, consumers and report annually to ICNF.
What we found during Biodiversity check?
The first step we have undertaken prior to implement our Policies was to perform a Biodiversity Check, that is, to characterize the initial state of Biodiversity at our estates and identify which sustainability measures were already in place to reduce our impacts and promote Biodiversity.
Dão – Quinta da Giesta & Quinta da Fonte do Ouro
The Giesta and Fonte do Ouro estates are highly representative of the Portuguese traditional landscape, characterized by fragmented small properties, but with a highly diverse use of the land – varietal agriculture and forestry, low intensity urbanization and patches of natural and semi-natural areas. They are mainly composed of vineyards and pinewood areas as well as some small natural and semi natural patches. This patchiness is highly beneficial for the conservation of Mediterranean Biodiversity as it promotes a mild human pressure which allows the cohabitation of humans, animals and the preservation of common countryside habitats.
In Fonte do Ouro a distinct olive grove and a Tilia woodland embellish the property and serves as a secondary source of income, while in Giesta estate the natural succession is promoted in hedgerows and forested areas. The enhancement of Biodiversity also includes the promotion of ecological corridors, nest boxes and bath houses, which can prey on moths, hence protecting our vineyards form pests and diseases.
The Woodlark (Lullula arborea) is a protected species under the Birds Directive found at Giesta and Fonte do Ouro Estate which preys of insects during the breeding season. Their characteristic happy toning singing embellishes our estates all year long, especially during the spring.
Península de Setúbal – Herdade de Gâmbia
The Gâmbia estate was found to be particularly important in the context of the rich and diverse Sado Estuary. This estate is located within the Sado Natural Reserve, furthermore it is within the Natura 2000 Network, aiming to protect important European Union habitats (SCI) and Birdlife (SPA) as well as a RAMSAR Wetland.
In Gâmbia estate we can find an iconic set of endangered and protected species. These are mainly associated with wetlands – salt marsh and abandoned Salt-works, include the Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), the Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), the Little tern (Sternula albifrons), Little egret (Egretta garzetta), the Purple heron (Ardea purpurea), the Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), and the birds of pray Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus), the Booted eagle (Hiraaetus pennatus).
Results from the Biodiversity Check indicated that globally the most common birds inside our vineyards were the European goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), the European greenfinch (Carduelis chloris), and the Common linnet (Carduelis carduelis). The most common bird of prey was the Common buzzard (Buteo buteo).
Associated with forested areas, the most common species were the Common chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs),the Carrion crow (Corvus corone), as well as the Great tit (Parus major) and the Blue tit (Parus ater).
Valuing Nature's Treasures
Given the results of the Biodiversity Check we have established management objectives for each estate. Our Biodiversity Management Plans were based on the most important and demanding Environmental and Quality guidelines in the agricultural sector (e.g. Global Gap, LEAF Vineyards). Implementation of Sustainable Viticulture techniques is a common objective for all estates, which include the promotion of functional Biodiversity (i.e. Biodiversity which improves soil health, fights vineyard and forestry pests, pollination, etc.) and the mitigation of impacts associated with viticulture (e.g. pesticide reduction, sustainable water usage, etc.).
Following our management objectives, for each Estate, several management practices are in effect or will be gradually implemented.