Oller del Mas has always ensured sustainability in overall terms, not just in terms of its commitment to the environment by being self-sufficient, but also in order to create a company that is sustainable with its resources and actions. For some years now we have been thoroughly studying all our resources in order to be as efficient as possible and not need to depend on anyone else.
Our commitment has been long standing through the generations and Oller del Mas is what it is thanks to its great ability to adapt to the needs of the times. At the end of the day, adapting is the way to evolve and survive, and this has allowed us to remain in the same property for 37 generations.
Another decision which we took after 2003 and the new concept for Oller del Mas wines, was not to buy grapes outside the estate, mainly to maintain the essence of our estate’s identity. This is dictated by climate and the special types of social that we have, but this decision also means minimising transport of the grape and, therefore, the energy required.
We also try to make sure that all the materials that we use are as natural as possible and mainly organic and that they are as locally-sourced as possible. This will allow the energy required for transportation to continue to drop and, at the same time, we will provide work to local companies, supporting the Catalan business network.
In 2011 we decided to be the first in all of Catalonia to get the carbon footprint certificate and established that our footprint to produce our Petit Bernat wine was 0.89kg of CO2 per wine bottle. This placed us third in the world in the ranking of least contaminating wine cellars per bottle of wine. Attached is the certificate from the BSI audit on 23 March 2012. Also included is the calculation used to arrive at the amount of 0.89kg of CO2.
The cellar also has a BIOSPHERE certificate. This certificate has as its objective sustainability and continued improvement in the tourist sphere. Designing products and services that represent a new less aggressive model of tourism, satisfying the current needs of clients without compromising future generations. We have to find a long-term balance to cover the needs of our clients, society and the environment.
In order to obtain the certificate, the company needs to create a report on its current situation and then sign a series of agreements that it will improve aspects connected with energy efficiency, noise reduction, social responsibility, family/work balance…
Geothermal energy and thermal isolation
Use of renewable energies was a key element when designing this new project and this is why geothermal energy is the main energy source for the new buildings. Each building had 20 wells dug at a depth of 140 metres in order to take advantage of the temperature difference between the ground surface and the temperature underground, which is around 18 degrees throughout the year. We can therefore provide both air conditioning and cold and warm water with a much lower electrical consumption that with conventional systems. We estimate that this geothermal energy has allowed us to reduce our energy consumption by around 30%. The installation will have been amortized in 15 years.
As well as this energy saving, we also took into account architectural aspects including the direction the buildings face and thermal isolation. The wine cellar faces north-south. On the north side we have the loading and unloading zone and the warehouse where the wines are aged and bottled so that it requires as little isolation as possible and the temperature can be as stable as possible to avoid the need for air conditioning systems. In addition, having the building beneath ground level and with roof gardens greatly helps to achieve these conditions, so necessary for the wines, in a natural way. On the south facing side we have the visitor entrance, shop, offices, tasting rooms and the zone where the grapes are brought in and prepared, with stunning views of Montserrat and the vineyards.
Apart from geothermal energy, Oller del Mas also used wind turbines for buildings located further away or where geothermal energy is not an option. In 2022, the wine cellar intends to install a field of solar panels, which will enable us to be totally self-sufficient with renewable energy.
In 2020, on seeing the overall scale of the Project, decided to go even further and solve the problem of purifying dirty water, grey water and reuse of rainwater.
This purifier works completely autonomously and all solids are removed using macrophyte beds and then returned to the land as fertilizer or compost. In this way all the waste water that has been filtered can then be used to water the crops and the golf course.