How we care for water in the Ucúquer vineyard

Francisca JaraFrancisca Jara

Francisca Jara


Because water scarcity affects us all, the wine industry is also taking action. Here we describe some of those efforts. 

World Water Day has been celebrated every March 22 since 1993 to raise awareness and inspire action to combat the global water crisis. The wine industry has been included in this celebration. Considering that one of the essential resources for vine growth and wine production is water, producing countries have incorporated concepts and taken actions to change how this resource is used, consumed, and managed.

Sustainable agriculture includes the concepts consumers demand: reduction of the water footprint, efficiency in water use, and harmlessness concerning human health and the environment. In Chile, these aspects are aligned with the work conducted by Wines of Chile through its “Sustainable management and handling of water in vineyards and wineries” program, in addition to the “Sustainability Code” certification that Concha y Toro has received since 2012. Both initiatives seek to generate methodological tools that will enable the industry to move towards efficient and sustainable water management in all its operations.

Barrier Ball® technology applied in Ucúquer.

The Gran Reserva wines, made with grapes from sustainably managed vineyards, stand out for their commitment to responsible and efficient water consumption.

Among the initiatives applied to the Ucúquer Estate, where Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc originates, the following stand out:

  1. Vineyards are 100% drip irrigated.
  2. The implementation of Barrier Ball® technology in the 400m2 irrigation tank. This system consists of a layer of water-loaded plastic spheres made from irrigation hose waste placed over the tank to function as a protective film. This reduces water evaporation by 80% and energy consumption for irrigation by 75%. This technology, among other things, prevents the appearance of algae in the tank, reduces fresh water consumption, reduces CO2 emissions, and allows greater water availability for the risk of new farms.
  3.  Dream System implementation is a precision agriculture system using intelligent irrigation, which delivers the right amount of water according to the climatic conditions of the vineyard.

Water conservation is essential in the wine industry to ensure long-term environmental and economic sustainability. Both producers and consumers must become aware of the importance of water in wine production and work together to encourage sustainable practices throughout the industry.