The commitment to environmental sustainability
In March 2021, La Raia has acquired 136 kWp of photovoltaic panels (equal to an area of about 700 sqm), for annual production of approximately 160,000 kWh. The installation is on two of the three roofs of the winery, while the third has been insulated with raw earth since 2003, the year of the renovation of the building and the construction of the wall with the ancient pisé technique by the Austrian architect Martin Rauch. This choice has made it possible to avoid intervention on the surrounding landscape, and it is in line with the initiatives of conservative and eco-compatible regeneration of the old farmhouses located on the property.
The investment in solar energy ensures semi-independence in terms of power consumption for the activities of the winery (covering 90% of requirements) and improves the present carbon footprint of La Raia thanks to reduction of CO2 emissions equaling 85 tons per year. The results are comparable to the effects of planting 1900 trees!
This strategic and economic effort joins other initiatives of eco-sustainability already put into place:
- reservoirs for the gathering of rainwater utilized for gardens;
- treatment of waste water from the winery in phyto-purification vats;
- thermal solar panels to provide hot running water for the entire structure, including Locanda La Raia, the hotel that is part of the estate.
The choice of biodynamic cultivation was the first, fundamental step taken twenty years ago by the Rossi Cairo family. This decision has determined the quality, character and recognizability of the wines, certified by Demeter since 2007. The work in a harmonious, balanced setting has contributed to the conservation of this portion of the Gavi landscape. At La Raia, the woods, meadows and cultivated fields surround the vineyards, fostering variety of flora and fauna and safeguarding biodiversity. The hedgerows that offer small birds and mammals shelter and enrich the habitat as a whole have been maintained, as narrated in the book Alla scoperta della biodiversità by Renato Cottalasso.
Environmental sustainability is a basic objective and a constant commitment. Technology offers new strategies with which to act in a more effective way to protect the environment. The photovoltaic system installed by La Raia permits replacement of fossil fuels with solar energy, guaranteeing significant reduction of harmful emissions.
La Raia is also active on the front of corporate welfare: the employees working in the agricultural areas are housed in farmhouses on the property, and their children can attend the Waldorf-Steiner school created at the estate by Caterina Rossi Cairo and the association “Cascina del Melo.”
Piero Rossi Cairo on Walk the Talk
To learn more, here's the full version of the interview with Piero Rossi Cairo made by colleague Riikka Sukula for Walk the Talk, a podcast about the world of wine, gastronomy and tourism, analyzed under the aspect of environmental sustainability. It intends to raise awareness on this matter, through the testimonies of professionals and entrepreneurs.