What are Sustainable Wines?
Sustainable wines can be defined as wines that are grown in an economically and ecologically responsible manner, organically as much as possible, while still retaining the means to respond to problems that may ruin a harvest. The vineyards are often in marginal climates, and producers will only use minimal chemical synthetic additives as a last resort in order to save a harvest, and not at all in many vintages.
Sustainable producers care deeply about the environment where they work and live, and focus on improving their land for future generations, from adding biodiversity of flora and fauna species through to improving the soil, water and air around them, and employing renewable energy as much as possible.
Sustainable wine producers also consider packaging and bottling sources and the impact of winegrowing to land surrounding their vineyards. They ensure complete accountability of production, with every stage of the winegrowing and winemaking journey accounted for and traceable.
Here are some examples of sustainability initiatives from one of our producers, Spy Valley Wines, Marlborough, NZ:
Impressively, 94% of New Zealand vineyards are sustainably certified by NZ Winegrowers - visit their Sustainability page here.
- We imported a glass crushing machine from America and crush all company and staff members' glass into a fine glass dust. This is then mixed with mulch and distributed below the grapevines to enhance light reflection into the vines.
- Our winery wastewater is treated onsite and pumped over the winery lawn
- Our waste plastic is baled onsite and sent to Christchurch for recycling, as is our waste cardboard. We are also active members of TerraNova - a non-profit organisation which links one company's waste to another who might have a use for it eg. old pallets
- In the vineyard we minimise spraying and use environmentally 'friendly' sprays wherever possible
- In the office we distribute our company newsletter by e-mail to 75% of recipients. We intend to make this 100% as soon as everyone catches on to technology. We recycle our used printer cartridges, waste paper, magazines, kitchen plastics, cans and we have even taken the step of planting vegetable gardens, which will result in sustainable produce for the company dinner table one day.