Grape Wine Cultivation Carbon Footprint: Embracing a Life Cycle Approach across Climatic Zones

Yuval Tamar Hefler, Meidad Kissinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ongoing climate change processes and increasing environmental pressure suggest the need to adjust the wine production systems worldwide to the new conditions while reducing their environmental pressure. The grapes’ cultivation phase may be influenced by expected changes. It follows that existing grape wine cultivation systems should be analyzed to identify major ‘hotspots’ and opportunities for change. Several studies have analyzed materials, energy inputs, and related emissions along the grape wine life cycle. However, most research focuses on traditional grape wine growing areas, and no study has yet focused on grape wine grown in unconventional desert areas. The research presented in this paper analyzed the carbon footprint (CF) of grapes grown in the Mediterranean, semi-arid, and arid climatic regions in the state of Israel. It revealed that, on average, a ton of grapes generates 342 kg CO2 eq from the cradle to the farm gate. The product was analyzed using a life-cycle approach, with the aim of studying the CF of each phase according. Most emissions were found to be related to the use of fertilizers (37%), fuel for transportation and mechanization (19%), and water supply (17%). The CF of grapes in the arid region was found to be the highest at 361 kg CO2 eq compared to 317 kg CO2 eq in the semi-arid region and 346 kg CO2 eq in the Mediterranean region. The analysis emphasizes the arid and semi-arid potential to reduce its CF by implementing farm management practices, including the choice of grape varieties, changing vineyard infrastructure, fertilizers, water management, and more. As presented here, understanding cropping systems in these regions can promote a better adaptation of the cropping systems to the changing conditions around the world.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number303
JournalAgriculture (Switzerland)
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • GHG emission
  • Israel
  • arid and semi-arid regions
  • life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • viticulture

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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