American University of Beirut

Wine Innovations for Sustainable Economies

Project Description:

Wine Innovations for Sustainable Economies (WISE) is an EU-funded Project under the SwitchMed Programme, led by Dr. Najat Saliba at AUB-NCC, and a team of three other professors: Dr. Majdi Abou Najm, Dr. Nadine Yehya, and Dr. Alain Daou. 

The aim of WISE was to pilot a circular economy approach in Lebanese wineries and demonstrate the effectiveness of composting in the process of wine making. The team piloted a composting pile experiment on Chateau Kefraya premises, our main beneficiary, as part of the project. 

The team conducted a needs assessment examination with 8 wineries and Union Vinicole du Liban, held a three-day workshop to guide attendees to integrate sustainability and m​aximize profit the green way, and traveled to Spain on a Capacity building mission to wineries and companies successfully leading in composting and circular economy conducted. 

In whole, the project’s conclusion is fertile for future ventures and plans as 39 wineries, five ministries, and two private universities were mapped out as interested and willing participants in our quest for greener wine and a much greener Lebanon.

​Trip Description: 

The purpose of the trip was to expose the WISE Project, and learn from the Spanish experience, notably from the wineries’ concept of sustainable production, and facilities’ green business model. The intention was to maximize the impact of capacity building and exchange knowledge between the Lebanese delegation and Spanish experts in wine-related sustainability topics. The trip touched on several topics under the umbrella of circular economy in the wine sector, and enabled the team to acquire hands-on practical insights for a more integrated sustainable approach to production, be it under the technical or business realm. Topics covered included:

  • Smart Irrigation / Viticulture
  • Composting
  • ​Grapeseed oil production
  • Spirits production by distillation of grape byproducts
  • Rejuvenating Arak
  • Eno-tourism
  • Wastewater management (space and const considerations for an in-house wastewater treatment installation)​​

Project Outcomes: 

  • OENO-Composting A Manual for Grape Marc Composting ​​

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