During the last decades in Italy the wine sector focused on the environmental sustainability of the production processes, including the agricultural, the agro-industrial and the packaging phases. Recent surveys highlighted that the wine consumers are interested in the environmental certifications, even if they are not familiar with them. Several environmental pressures can be evaluated in the viticulture phase, but an elevated number of the analysed impacts require the collection of a large set of input data and significant efforts during the elaboration phase. Therefore, the aim of the present work was the identification of the inventory data and impacts, which mainly describe the environmental pressures associated with the viticulture phase. Particularly, the results of the life cycle assessment (LCA) were integrated with those of a model and a simplified approach for evaluating the risks due to the pesticides use. The LCA identified three phases, which are responsible of 70-80% of the CO2eq (CO2 equivalent), the cumulated energy utilisation, the acidification potential (expressed in SO2 equivalent) and the eutrophication (expressed in PO4 equivalent), i.e. the harvesting, the crop protection and the ligature. The phase of the pesticides use was analysed also through the pesticides risk indicator (PERI) model and a simplified approach elaborated by the Regional Agency for the Environment Protection in Tuscany, Italy. Results concerning the environmental risk showed that the PERI model, the Arpat approach and the LCA were coherent for the pesticide mix highlighting that the associated environmental risk is more than doubled from 2004 to 2010. Finally, some operative indications were elaborated in order to reduce the impacts and improve the local and global environmental sustainability of the viticulture phase.
Viticulture; pesticides; environmental sustainability; life cycle assessment; risks assessment.