Australian Vintage secures Sustainable Winegrowing Australia certification

Jurie Germishuys, Australian Vintage’s senior viticulture manager. Image courtesy Australian Vintage

Australian Vintage announced today (13 November) that it has achieved certification by Sustainable Winegrowing Australia of 100% of its owned and operated vineyards.

Australian Vintage is one of Australia’s largest vineyard owners with over 2,600 hectares under vine, growing and sourcing grapes from Australia’s wine regions including Barossa Valley and the Adelaide Hills in South Australia, Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Murray Darling in Victoria/New South Wales and the Riverland region of South Australia. The company’s pillar brands include Nepenthe, McGuigan Wines, Tempus Two, and Barossa Valley Wine Company.

External auditors, National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA) and Sci-Qual International, conducted the recent audits, with no corrective actions required.

“The SWA certification supports Australian Vintage in progressing our sustainability roadmap – incorporating regenerative agriculture practices and monitoring impact,” said Jurie Germishuys, Australian Vintage’s senior viticulture manager.

“Across our vineyards we’ve installed soil moisture probes that allow us to water when required, preventing excess water use and soil erosion, as well as replacing machinery and equipment with energy efficient alternatives like our electric forklifts. We’ll continue to investigate native plant species to increase biodiversity and attract beneficial insects.”

Germishuys was pleased with the achievement, noting the importance of the recognition.

“The certification is a great achievement of our operations and viticulture teams at each site and the business as a whole, as we formalise our approach and commitment to sustainable winemaking. It’s important we do good – for the land, our business and future generations,” he said.

Sustainable Winegrowing Australia encourages continuous improvement across all elements including:

  • Water: maximising water use efficiency
  • Energy: switching to renewable energy sources
  • Land and soil: protecting and enhancing soil for long-term productivity
  • Waste: avoiding, reducing and finding innovative uses for waste
  • Biodiversity: restoring flora and fauna
  • People and business: fostering strong supply chain and local community relations

Dr Mardi Longbottom, manager of sustainability and viticulture at the Australian Wine Research Institute, manages the technical aspects of the program, and also expressed her enthusiasm at the expanding number of vineyards recognised.

“We are encouraged by the momentum and increasing ambition of our growing membership and are confident we will achieve world-leading recognition,” said Longbottom.

“By purchasing wines from a certified producer, consumers can feel confident that they’re supporting sustainable-minded growers and winemakers, who are on a journey to shape the Australian wine community for good.”

Recent data shows 65% of Australian wine drinkers say they prefer sustainable made wine. Meanwhile, 54% of global wine drinkers only trust sustainable wine that is officially certified.

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