Rheinhessen, the land of ideas: creativity, dedication and networking for CO2 reductions in viticulture


As the region of Rheinhessen, is shaped by its viticulture, local wine growers have a special responsibility when it comes to promoting sustainable development, and the wine industry has been proving its dedication in this field for many years. In 2012, for example, the marketing organisation for local wines (Rheinhessenwein e. V.) published a study with a strong focus on sustainability and carbon emissions.

Experts at the Rural Service Centre in Oppenheim and local universities are working closely to evaluate the key indicators for sustainable development in Rheinhessen and develop practical solutions. In addition, a Sustainability Award is presented to suppliers and service providers in the local wine industry each year.

Many wineries in Rheinhessen are equally committed to the issue, as shown by some of the winners of our Best Of Wine Tourism Award:

Weingut Dreissigacker (Bechtheim), Sustainability Award in 2021

Jochen Dreissigacker and his team strive to treat the soil and layers as naturally and carefully as possible during the cultivation process. The sustainable and natural wines produced by Dreissigacker are ultimately characterised by the time that goes into making them. The Dreissigacker winery in Bechtheim has been eco-certified since 2007. Jochen Dreissigacker sees biodynamic viticulture as a logical approach for anyone who deals intensively with ecological cultivation methods. The aim is to work as naturally as possible to create optimal conditions for grapes to flourish and grow.

The fundamental principle of sustainability also played a crucial role in the construction of the new site: As the wine cellar is partially built into the slope, the temperature is perfectly regulated by the soil and electricity is generated by solar panels on the roof. And the heating is operated with dried grape marc – it’s a perfect cycle!

Weingut Jean Buscher (Bechtheim), Art & Culture Award in 2016

In addition to its recognition in the field of art and culture, the Jean Buscher winery also bears the FAIR’N GREEN seal for sustainable viticulture. This helps wine growers make sustainability goals objectively measurable and verifiable, from the reduction of CO2 emissions and greater biodiversity to social commitment.

Raphael Buscher comments on his involvement in the initiative: “FAIR’N GREEN provides a platform for us to share experiences with others and discover new and innovative ideas. By working with FAIR’N GREEN, we can clearly communicate our sustainability goals, develop new approaches and improve through constant monitoring. Combining the old with the new is a great opportunity for family businesses to ensure the best possible impact on people, animals and nature”.

Weingut Grünewald & Schnell (Worms), Sustainability Award in 2013

Sustainability is firmly rooted in the philosophy and actions of the Grünewald & Schnell winery. The owner, Richard Grünewald, is happy to communicate this awareness to his customers and colleagues. Grünewald & Schnell is a trailblazing company that became the first winery in Germany to publish a sustainability report in 2010.

The winery exchanges its expert knowledge and views with other wine-growing companies via its own online platform (“Sustainable Wine Network”), as networking and longevity are essential factors for Grünewald & Schnell. The website even contains a comprehensive check-list for carbon reductions and sustainable viticulture, from restructuring / exchanging allotments (fewer journeys, less CO2) and biodiversity in viticulture to tips on reducing energy consumption in wine cellars (e.g. cooling tower, change of flow temperature):

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