Completing the world’s first zero-emissions harvest of a Barolo cru, and celebrating 2025 by opening the first 100% sustainable bottle of the highly prized King of Wines: these are the aims of the partnership between FPT Industrial and Fontanafredda presented at a digital press conference on 19 February.
The global challenge of energy transition demands not only widely shared solutions on a large scale, but also targeted actions in specialist sectors, which must be able both to deliver concrete results and to attract the interest of a broader public, through the high intrinsic value of the projects themselves. Both can be achieved by projects involving partners with a long-standing commitment to environmental accountability.
Implementing these guidelines, a core part of its brand identity from the outset, FPT Industrial has joined forces with Fontanafredda, the historic winery founded by Vittorio Emanuele II, the first King of Italy, in 1858. Fontanafredda produces Barolo and other great wines from the Langhe region, which currently has 120 hectares of certified organic vineyards and promotes a new Green Renaissance in the form of best-practice grape cultivation with no environmental impact.
The heart of the partnership is the supply of two New Holland TK Methane Power crawler vineyard tractors with biomethane-fueled FPT Industrial F28 Natural Gas engines, which will work in the Vigna La Rosa cru that produces the grapes for the legendary Barolo of the same name, a wine which has been included in the Wine Spectator Top 100 of the world’s best wines.
Recently awarded the title of “Engine of the year 2020” for its modular, multi-propulsion approach, the FPT Industrial F28 engine is designed to be compact, productive, and environment-friendly. In fact, it ticks all the boxes in terms of power, performance, and low environmental impact for specialized applications such as orchard and vineyard tractors where compactness and small overall dimensions are an essential requirement. The F28 is able to operate on diesel or natural gas and is hybrid-ready
The biomethane model designed for Fontanafredda was developed on the basis of a New Holland Agriculture crawler vineyard tractor. It can provide a power output of 75 hp with peak torque of 330 Nm and therefore ensures, in complete safety, a performance that is absolutely identical to that of its diesel equivalent, even when working on the steepest slopes and on the slippery terrain typical of the finest vineyards in Italy’s Langhe wine-growing region. This is all with a zero-carbon footprint, as the biomethane that powers the engine is not a fossil fuel but is produced by the anaerobic digestion of agricultural waste.
Fontanafredda has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability, both on the land, by implementing organic growing methods, and in the cellar, through the use of autochthonous yeasts. In 2020 these decades of evolution culminated in a fresh perspective: the Green Renaissance. The new Renaissance will create a great global community, united around respect for the land, which will also be expressed through respect for people. These values have led to the “greening” of all daily procedures, from the reuse of water to the choice of healthy, natural, environment-friendly packaging, and the use of clean energy for the Village inside Fontanafredda farmstead. Thanks to FPT Industrial, from the 2021 vintage onwards, mobility in the vineyard has also become sustainable. The arrival of biomethane-fueled tractors will enable Fontanafredda to cut vineyard emissions to zero and make growing operations ever more sustainable.
The three-year partnership between FPT Industrial and Fontanafredda, supported by the Region of Piedmont’s Tobias Project, with contributions from New Holland Agriculture, CNH Industrial, and local businesses, proves once again that complex projects of this kind can provide a virtuous example of networking for a common objective. The partners involved in the supply chain project are Dimsport, Hysytech, S.T.C., Stems-CNR, and T.C.E. Torino Crea Engineering.
“After being the ‘heart’ of the vehicles named Sustainable Tractor of the Year and Sustainable Truck of the Year”, FPT Industrial CEO Annalisa Stupenengo declares,
“getting to grips with the needs of the prestigious, delicate, sustainable top-quality wine-growing sector is a very exciting challenge for us. In fact, the partnership with Fontanafredda will enable us to again demonstrate our full support for the European Union as it guides the green transition. Our biomethane engines are as efficient and high-performing as diesels, and this renewable, sustainable fuel is the real, immediately available alternative for eliminating emissions from agricultural vehicles.”
“We have the great good fortune to live in a unique part of the world, and we have to care for our wonderful land,” Fontanafredda grower Andrea Farinetti states.
“We need a new Renaissance; otherwise, a tomorrow that is like today is unthinkable. Obviously, we have to change and renew ourselves. For us, this renewal means making our land central to everything we do; this must be our overriding aim, and must lead to the creation of a great worldwide community, based on trust in others. This community will have many tools at its disposal for safeguarding our planet: ours will be wine, “green” wine. Our partnership with FPT Industrial proves that together we can do more, and do it better.”
Technical specifications of the F28 engine for Fontanafredda
– Displacement: 2.8 liters
– 4 cylinders and 2 valves
– Maximum power output 55 kW / 75 hp
– Stoichiometric combustion technology and multipoint injection to guarantee excellent performance and very low emissions
– Designed without EGR and with a maintenance-free 3-way catalytic converter (without DPF or SCR)
– Sustainable solution that guarantees a virtually zero carbon footprint when powered by biomethane