A company from northern Greece is an example of a circular economy. The Domaine Agrovision is located in the small town of Ierissos (Chalkidiki). But what exactly does this winery do?
The treasure of wine lees
Domaine Agrovision was founded in 2011 and in 2016 completed its first bottling of wine. In 2019, it set a strategic goal to be able to use wine by-products in innovative ways. During the wine production process that takes place every year in September, process wastes like wine lees are produced. Domaine Agrovision, applying in practice the principles of the circular economy, utilizes the residues after the fermentation of the wine (red wine) for the production of pizza and bread. More specifically, this company offers the wine lees to local businesses and many of these products reach dinner tables in the community. Until now, this waste ended up being thrown away and was not even recyclable. This company is a good example of a circular economy and of sustainability. According to Interreg Europe (A European program which helps regional and local governments across Europe to develop and deliver better policies), almost 100 kg of wine lees has already been reused for the production of products such as bread and pizza. Last year (2020), the winery’s overall waste was reduced by nearly 40% compared to 2019 and the winery intends to increase this percentage next year.
Pizza and bread from wine lees (Photos: APE-MPE)
Agrovision has a “green” vision
This company does not stop here. It continues to offer good examples of a circular economy by creating value-added products. It creates bicycle bases from by-products of the viticultural sector, extending the life cycle of these products as well. Agrovision has already offered some of these bicycle bases at the primary school of Ierissos. Furthermore, marcs (wine by-products) are also used by breeders as feed for sheep and goats. The support of the circular economy, the design of value-added products, the utilization of winemakers' waste, as well as the social innovation and creativity are the basic ideological principles of the company.
Bicycle bases from by-products of the viticultural sector (Photos: Domaine Agrovision Facebook page)
According to Aggelos Zamanis, the general manager and chemist of the Domaine Agrovision, the company's value principles are based on a triplet of goals related to the protection of the natural environment, the reduction of waste (especially residuals) and finally the increase of indirect profitability for the creation of new jobs.
The Millennial Agora contacted Aggelos Zamanis, who told us about the future goals of the company.
“Our plans for the future are to make it possible for the inclusion of wine lees in food/dishes to become a culture in the local area and not to remain as a fashion. At the same time, we have launched the creation of a circular economy park with the main emphasis on wine and its local history, in order to connect waste management/by-products with history and the real economy.”