Découvrez la seconde vie de la vigne et du raisin

Discover the second life of vines and grapes

At a time when every sustainable development approach counts, the world of wine is getting involved by recycling as much residue from the vines as possible. From cosmetics to imitation leather, discover the second life of vines and grapes .

Recycling vine branches

Each year, French viticulture generates more than 2 tonnes of shoots per hectare of vines , particularly during deseeding . These small branches, which the winegrower cuts to restore vigor to the plant, were until now burned in the open air, generating significant air pollution.

Branches serving viticulture

Since 2013, an innovative company, Vitis Valorem, has made it possible to recycle and valorize these branches , transforming them into a wide range of products for the vine (supports, stakes, biodegradable vine staples, etc.). The vine shoots then become an innovative raw material, called Sarmine®, which extends its application to the fields of cosmetics, automobiles, construction, etc.

Each year, 300 hectares of vines are collected in France and recycled, considerably reducing the carbon footprint of the viticulture sector (-750 tonnes of CO2).

The management of hectares of vines has become a major issue, with a growing interest in organic cultivation and the effectiveness of the products used. From the planting of the stakes to the growth of the branches, including the method and mode of pruning, each step is carefully studied to guarantee current quality and desired maturity of the grapes.

The vine as a design object

In the craft sector, many professionals manage to give a second life to the vine by transforming it into furniture, jewelry, or interior decoration. These unique pieces are then appreciated for their ecological and rustic touch, and help to contribute to the circular economy.

Grape marc as an alternative to animal leather

Another waste from the vine, grape marc is made up of all the dry residues that we recover after the production of wine, but also grape juice. There we find a mixture of all the solid parts that make up the bunches of grapes: seeds, skins, stalks...

Today, grape marc is recyclable, and becomes a vegetable leather that is much more ecological and ethical than materials of animal origin.

To obtain leather, the solid residues of grape berries are collected, dried and reduced to powder, before being mixed with polymers and vegetable oil. The paste thus formed is dried, then colored, which can then be used to make various objects.

In Bordeaux, the Zèta brand offers vegetable leather sneakers . In Bayonne, the start-up Mondin created the Nisiar material, which today makes it possible to manufacture lemonade cases and even bottle holders.

Vine products in cosmetics

Vinotherapy is not really a new concept, and the benefits of grapes have long been recognized by professionals. The grape marc is thus collected from wine producers, in order to extract the polyphenols . This ingredient is known to act to prevent cell deterioration, and when applied to the skin, it protects against external aggressions and contributes to the regeneration of the epidermis.

We then find many creams, lotions and other serums based on grape marc from wine production. Some creators stand out a little from the crowd by offering innovative products, like the Vie.gne brand , which makes varietal soaps . The idea is to design soaps from the residue of small bunches of grapes, but also to offer the consumer a sensory experience with a product with wine aromas. Of course, there is no smell of alcohol or wine in these soaps, but rather the characteristic aromas of each grape variety . Chardonnay soap, for example, reveals aromas of pear, apple and vanilla, so typical of this grape variety.

Winemaking residues as renewable energy

All residues from winemaking, from grape marc to vine shoots, are also used to produce energy . They are then transformed into biomass pellets, biogas, or even compost. These renewable energies then make it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to offer a sustainable and ecological alternative for the recovery of vine waste.

From vines to grapes, almost everything can be used in the wine industry. By giving a second life to the vine and the grapes , promising innovations are born every day, and suggest an eco-responsible dynamic that perfectly meets current challenges. By promoting each element, from the root to the future shoot, viticulture is resolutely part of an approach to quality and sustainability, meeting the expectations of consumers concerned about preserving the environment.


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