27, May 2022

What is Sustainable Winegrowing?

Growing and making wine sustainably is a holistic approach to production that evolves the environmental aspect of the craft. It looks at how we can better use energy and water to create efficiency, support regions and communities, and establish a business that is resilient and thriving. Where organic and biodynamic practices look specifically at environmental management, sustainable winegrowing takes a broader view to improve social and economic performance.

Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is the national program for grapegrowers and winemakers committed to making sustainable wine. Fortunately, many growers and makers in McLaren Vale are practicing sustainably already, it’s just getting into the habit of documenting everything to make it official via the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia program.

For grapegrowers and winemakers embracing sustainable practices helps create a purposeful brand story. One that is known for making exceptional wine that supports a greater good. Sustainable practices help nurture the land and pass it on in a better condition, creating value and security for generations to come. For consumers who support grapegrowers and winemakers who are committed to producing wine that will reduce environmental impact, it protects our people and our communities. And thanks to a trustworthy, research-backed certification program, sustainable practices help to shape the Australian wine industry for the better.

As part of the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia program, information collected allows a greater understanding of what’s happening in the vineyard or winery. It allows our community to know where they are and have a view to where they want their practice to be. So, they can be proactive, rather than reactive*. [*Source: Sustainable Winegrowing Australia].

For further information regarding Australia's national sustainability program Sustainable Winegrowing Australia, please click here.

For further information on McLaren Vale's sustainability timeline please click here.

Snapshot of Sustainability in McLaren Vale

McLaren Vale is one of the most environmentally sustainable wine grape growing region in Australia, leading the way in organic practices, water management and climate-appropriate plantings*. (*Source Wine Australia)

  • As of the 1st of July 2021 McLaren Vale has 127 Sustainable Winegrowing Australia vineyard members (26 certified members).
  • McLaren Vale has 7 Sustainable Winegrowing Australia winery members (4 certified members)
  • McLaren Vale has the highest percentage of certified Biodynamic and Organic vineyards in Australia with approximately 38% of vineyards in the area certified Biodynamic and Organic*. (*source AWRI report)
  • In the 1990s, McLaren Vale became Australia’s first wine region to self-impose water restrictions on its underground resources (*source Willunga Basin Water Company)
  • McLaren Vale is home to the first and largest recycled water network in Australia with approximately 50% of vineyards in the region irrigated using treated reclaimed water. (*source)

Our community of growers and winemakers create products that are better for people, better for the environment, and better for our industry. Together, we’re securing a thriving future for the whole Australian wine community. To read more about sustainability in McLaren Vale please click here.