“Green” wine to give winemakers a boost

Posted by Isobel Drake on 11th December 2009

Australian winemakers and grape growers now have a formal way to highlight their green credentials nationally and internationally.

EntWine Australia is a voluntary national environmental assurance scheme that requires companies to have their practices certified and independently audited and to report annually in relation to their carbon footprint and a number of specified indicators.

The scheme was officially launched in Adelaide this week by the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Tony Burke.

“This is a really important initiative that showcases the wine industry’s determination to meet modern expectations about environmental stewardship,” according to the CEO of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA), Stephen Strachan. “Those who meet or exceed the standards will be able to carry the nationally endorsed EntWine Australia logo and will be listed on a publicly accessible online register.”

By 2014 the WFA hopes to have all Australian export wine achieving this standard.

“Feedback from industry has been positive,” Mr Strachan added. “There is a growing realisation that this is something we have to do if Australian wines are to keep meeting consumer and retailer demands.”

EntWine Australia was developed by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia in consultation with industry. Pilot studies were supported by Foster’s, Orlando Wines, McWilliam’s Wines, De Bortoli, Sitella Wines, Voyager Estate, Winemakers of Rutherglen and the Langhorne Creek Grapegrowers’ Association.

“We have created a comprehensive but flexible system which recognises that some companies and some wine regions are already well advanced in setting and meeting environmental standards,” Mr Strachan advised. “Wineries and grape growers can adopt our certification scheme but we also will recognise other approaches that meet our criteria.”

WFA’s certification scheme is based on the national Freshcare Environmental Code and includes requirements for improvements and the development of new initiatives in such areas as water and energy use.