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The Role of Biodiversity in Vines in a Changing Climate

In a multifunctional agricultural system, that has characterized our viticulture for centuries, biodiversity provides important ecological services that underpin vineyard health, productivity, quality and resilience. In the last decades, vineyard expansion and intensification are compromising the diversity and abundance of service-providing organisms, due to landscape homogenization, loss of key structures such as stone walls and hedgerows, high mechanization (including frequent tilling), and/or overuse of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides. The wine industry relies on nature, so we need to enhance and preserve the Eco services that nature provides, such as carbon storage, natural control of undesirable organisms, self-regulation and reliance on the natural balance that biodiversity provides. On the other hand, and in line with the European Green Deal, the European Commission adopted a comprehensive new Biodiversity Strategy to bring nature back into our lives and a Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system. These two strategies are mutually reinforcing, bringing together nature, farmers, businesses and consumers for jointly working towards a competitively sustainable future.


This Climate Talk will address how farmers are managing biodiversity in their vines and how they can benefit from the balance provided by it. For that purpose, in this conversation we will bring together, producers from different parts of the world to talk about their experience on how they are enhancing the role of biodiversity in their vines. They will share the solutions they have been implementing and the impacts on their grapes and wines, and how these practices are aligned with their challenge of adapting to climate change. In this debate, we will also explore the importance of international and national strategies and the role of each partner in achieving the goals set.



On Porto Protocol's youtube channel:


 How are agricultural practices affecting biodiversity worldwide?
 What is biodiversity’s main role and benefits on wine production?
 How can biodiversity contribute to vineyards resilience to climate change?
 What are the ecological infrastructures existing in vineyards, and how can they be improved towards more sustainable winegrowing.
 Which of the mechanisms of interactions between species have more impact on vines, and how can they be can be used to benefit the vineyard and the environment?
 What is the importance of global standards for biodiversity? Which are the main contribution of farmers towards a competitively sustainable future?


PEDRO BEJA . Portugal

Rechearcher at CIBIO – Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

Pedro Beja. Deputy Director and Coordinator Researcher at CIBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, of the University of Porto (Portugal), and InBIO – Research Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (Associate Laboratory). Holder of the EDP Chair in Biodiversity (since 2012) and Principal Investigator of the research group ApplEcol – Applied Population and Community Ecology. Conservation biologist interested in the natural and anthropogenic drivers of biodiversity change in human-dominated landscapes, including agricultural, forest and freshwater social-ecological systems. Strongly interested in the actual application of conservation science, with practical experience involving a range of conservation projects, species reintroduction, creation of protected areas, land planning for biodiversity, impact assessment and mitigation, ecological assessment and monitoring, and corporate biodiversity. Author of >160 publications in international journals and edited books, and supervisor of > 20 PhD students. Further information available at


Gabriela Mascioli


Co-owner of Herdade de Coalheiros (Alentejo)

Gabriela Mascioli was born in São Paulo, Brazil to Italian and Swiss parents. With a Business and Finance degree, Gabriela exchanged a successful banking career for her great passion: gastronomy, opening a cookbook shop, cooking school and cafe that soon received great acclaim.

Now she divides her time between New York, Portugal, and the occasional but obligatory visit to Japan, but it is Herdade de Coelheiros that Gabriela calls home. Here in the historic Alentejo Estate, she is invested in creating a sustainable model taking advantage of the great biodiversity and minimizing waste and resource usage.

Gabriela graduated in Business,  has a Le Cordon Bleu Graduate Diploma in Gastronomy the University of Adelaide, and a Hautes Etudes du Goût, de la Gastronomie et des Arts de la Table from the University of Reims.

Gabriela was the owner of the famous bookstore in São Paulo – Mille Foglie – specializing in food and wine that also housed a cooking school.  She was also a columnist at “Prazeres da Mesa” and contributed for several other magazines and newspapers like Marie Claire, Estado de Sao Paulo, Gosto and Vogue. She edited and co-wrote the book “Compras 100% aprovadas” that in 2007 already looked into sustainability, and the book Receiving without Stress, winner of the “Gourmand Award” for Best Entertaining Cookbook and Best Cookbook Design in Brazil. She hosted Anthony Bourdain in the Sao Paulo episode of “No Reservations”, taught classes for the MBA of FAAP – Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation on Travel and Gastronomy. She also cooks daily and studied bakery at the Paris Cordon Bleu and New York ICE.


John Williams


Owner and Winemaker at Frog’s Leap

John Williams was raised in western New York, and spent the summers on his grandparents’ dairy farm. Following graduation from high school, he received a scholarship to attended Cornell University where he planned to study fermentation sciences in order to pursue a career in the dairy industry. While studying cheese making under the great Frank Kozokowski, Williams accepted a workstudy position with the Taylor Wine Company and the rest—as they say—is history. After receiving his degree from Cornell University in 1975, John was accepted into the Enology and Viticulture Masters Program at UC-Davis. Upon graduating, Williams returned to upstate New York as winemaker for Glenora Wine Cellars producing several award-winning wines before returning to California in 1980 to assume winemaking duties at Spring Mountain Vineyards in the Napa Valley. In 1981 Williams co-founded Frog’s Leap winery along with partner Larry Turley. He became the sole owner in 1994, moving the winery to its current location on the Rutherford Bench in the Napa Valley. Under Williams’ guidance, Frog’s Leap has evolved as a provocative model of a successful, sustainable family farm. Williams’ passion for protecting and preserving a healthy agricultural way of life led to the establishment of the Rutherford River Restoration Project and he and the winery team he has assembled are widely recognized for their contributions to the organic farming movement, the promotion of alternative energy sources, and ongoing efforts to encourage sustainable business practices.


Michale Graf_3


Owner of Manicor

From 1991 to 1996 I dedicated myself to the renewal of the vineyards in a family place to prepare the release of the first wines with the Manincor brand.

In 1996 the first wine was bottled and already with the 1997 vintage of Cassiano we got the recognition of the three glasses in the Gambero Rosso.

The philosophy of Manincor was always to produce particular wines, true expression of the territory.

In 2004 the new winery was inaugurated, completely buried in the vineyard. With the new winery we are able to work in perfect respect of quality and with a minimum environmental impact.

In 2005 the 50 hectares of Manincor’s vineyard were converted to biodynamic viticulture and in 2009 we are producing the entire production of 300,000 bottles certified organic and biodynamic.