Entries in this year's Air New Zealand Wine Awards show that sustainability is the rule rather than the exception. 96 per cent of the 1389 entries have sustainability measures in place.
The New Zealand Winegrowers' (NZW) Sustainability Policy stipulates that wines must be made from 100 per cent certified grapes in wine making and wine packaging facilities that are certified.
Certification is achieved either through Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ), the industry body which acts as a quality assurance and oversees wine standards that were introduced in 2002, or through recognised biodynamic and organic certifiers so consumers can be sure that their choice of tipple has undergone strict sustainability measures, from grape to bottle.
New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) sustainability general manager Philip Manson says New Zealand is a world leader in sustainably produced wines.
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"For winemakers, sustainability not only means making great wine, it is also about how they're growing grapes and making wine, and how it affects the environment, people and the wider community."
And that's not all. In 2011, Organic Winegrowers New Zealand released a target of 20 per cent of the vineyard-producing area in New Zealand to be under organic production by 2020. NZW CEO Philip Gregan says that the expansion of organic winegrowing is in line with the industry's strategic direction.
"We see the expansion of organics over the next decade as an important component of the industry's commitment to sustainability and are confident it will strongly support our brand positioning in global markets."
The Air New Zealand Wine Awards will be held on Saturday November the 23rd in Queenstown.