Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is Australia’s national program for grapegrowers and winemakers to demonstrate and continuously improve their sustainability in the vineyard and winery through the environmental, social and economic aspects of their businesses.The program takes a holistic approach to managing, supporting and promoting sustainability. It fosters stronger relationships between growers, wineries and their regions. It also provides authority and confidence to customers, who receive reliable certified produce to address growing global consumer demand. No matter where a grapegrower or winemaker is on the journey, the program is relevant and user-friendly.
Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is a voluntary program designed with flexibility to suit the changing goals and needs of all Australian grape and wine producers. It informs and contributes to the identification of priorities for wine industry research, development and extension activities and can be used by members for benchmarking. The program is administered by the Australian Wine Research Institute with governance, endorsement and active support from Australian Grape & Wine and Wine Australia. The program is modelled on global best practices and aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with progress towards these monitored annually. **
Joining is easy and membership is available to all Australian grapegrowers and winemakers. Vineyards, wineries, and/or wine businesses must hold separate memberships because the data provided by each part of the business is different. There are two membership categories (members and certified members). Members can choose the category that best suits their needs.
Once a year, during July/August, members are required to report their business metrics and submit the self-assessment workbook to the AWRI through the member database. The workbook contains multiple choice questions covering major elements including energy, water, biodiversity, air, waste, land and soil, fertiliser and soil additives, chemicals, business, community impact and sustainability action planning.**
Sustainable Winegrowing Australia members wishing to become certified must complete an independent audit against the Australian Wine Industry Standards of Sustainable Practice (AWISSP) for Viticulture and Wineries. To maintain certification, a successful audit must be undertaken every three years by an approved certification body.
To sign up to the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia Program please CLICK HERE.
For further information on McLaren Vale's sustainability timeline please CLICK HERE.
**Source: Sustainable Winegrowing Australia
Photograph (C) Wine Australia