Winemakers Turning Green as Sustainability Push Grows

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by KnowESG
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Image of sunrise seen from a vineyard in Australia.

Winemakers are upping their green credentials with 40 per cent of wineries committed to making sustainably made wine according to a new report.

The impact report from Sustainable Winegrowing Australia found there's been a 48 per cent jump in its membership, with more than 1150 wineries, vineyards and wine businesses moving to become more sustainable.

Australia has around 6000 grape growers nationally.

"There's a big movement happening in the wine industry right now about sustainability, and people are motivated to ... become certified," said Sustainable Winegrowing Australia's Mardi Longbottom, who helped compile the report.

"It's really about identifying each of the elements that contribute to their sustainability, then measuring those as much as possible, and then ... constantly monitoring and making changes and improving," she said.

The report found that all of the vineyards that had signed up for sustainability are now measuring and reporting their waste, including how much they recycle and reuse.

It found 91 per cent of the member vineyards are trying to reduce water and future-proof against drought, while the sustainable wine producers are also measuring and reporting all of their greenhouse gas emissions.

"A hundred per cent of those members are reporting their scope one and scope two emissions," she said.

Land and soil was lower on the priority list for sustainable wineries, according to the report.

It found 65 per cent of Sustainable Winegrowing members have documented soil management processes, but only half have best practice measures in place to ensure robust microbial networks.

Ms Longbottom told AAP that the push to become more sustainable among grape growers and vineyards is being driven by a desire to look after their natural resources as well as consumer demand.

"The drivers for sustainability are much stronger than ever before," she said.

Lee McLean from Australian Grape and Wine said there's a growing interest from winemakers wanting to go green.

"It's consumers who are increasingly demanding more than just value for money and flavour, they want to know that their wines are being produced sustainably," said Mr McLean.

FABAL vineyards which runs 19 sustainably certified vineyards across the country has been using household compost waste to help grow its grapes in South Australia for the past 20 years.

Chief executive officer Ashley Keegan said sustainability is a big part of its business.

"Because it's the right thing to do, and secondly....increasingly, our customers are valuing sustainability," Mr Keegan said.

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Source: Australian Associated Press

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