Environmental impact and energy demand comparison of vineyard by the life cycle assessment methodology

This research compared five viticulture management scenarios, ranging from intensive (chemically and mechanically) to low-input, and two organic management methods. It analysed the environmental impacts from each system using Life Cycle Assessment for two years. The main comparison was done using as functional unit one kilogram of grapes; however, a comparison per hectare was also included to more accurately represent how the systems interacted with the environment. The results show that the production and application of mineral fertilizers had a higher environmental impact than any other input or process. In scenarios where mineral fertilizer was not applied, electricity used to pump groundwater for irrigation created the highest impact. Regarding the weed management processes, the application of glyphosate created more impact than any other related process. The intensive management scenarios generated more impact than the organic or low-input scenarios; they also produced a higher yield, with the exception of Scenario Organic 1, which demonstrated an unusually high yield for an organically managed plot.