The Drinks Business Green Awards 2016: the winners

Renewable Energy Implementation Award

Winner: VSPT Wine Group

winner-renewable-energy-implementation-awardVSPT Wine Group’s longstanding commitment to sustainability has come to fruition this year with the inauguration of two pioneering renewable energy projects which have positioned the company as a global leader in the renewable energy category.

These cutting-edge projects comprise the creation of the world’s first biogas plant to use waste from grape harvests as its only source of fuel, and the first mini-hydroelectric power plant ever to be constructed at a Chilean winery.

The biogas plant is the first in the world to supply electric and thermal energy to a winery, generated with its own organic waste from vspt-biogas-plantharvest. The plant is able to harness 1MWh power, providing the equivalent of 60% of the energy consumption of Viña San Pedro’s winery in Molina, in the Maule valley.
As well as enabling the winery to operate with a completely closed-loop production cycle, the plant also allows the reuse of the biodigested harvest material as a nutrient-rich biofertiliser for the vineyards that supply grapes for its GatoNegro’s brand.The second project, a mini-hydroelectric power plant, takes advantage of an existing irrigation channel on VSPT’s property to generate 250kWh electric energy for the operation of its Viña Tarapacá winery located in Isla de Maipo. This represents as much as 60% of the electrical consumption of the winery.

Judges praised Viña San Pedro for its comprehensive approach to renewable energy sourcing “on a massive scale”, declaring the company “a clear winner” in this category.

Runner-up: Yealands Estate

yealands-solar-arrayWith a goal of becoming energy self-sufficient and carbon negative by 2025, Yealands Family Wines’ notable renewable energy initiatives include being the first winery from inception to be certified carboNZeroCertTM, engineering New Zealand’s only vine pruning burners as a major energy source and, since 2013, the largest solar panel array in New Zealand.


  • Lanchester Wines
  • VSPT Wine Group
  • Yealands Estate Wines



Water Management Award

Winner: Aston Manor Cider


Aston Manor Cider by the River Severn

In the last year, Aston Manor Cider has dramatically reduced water consumption at its apple pressing and processing facility in Stourport-on-Severn with the development of a new water recycling process which sensibly takes advantage of the facility’s riverside location.

Using innovative technology the cider maker diverts river water flowing past the site to condense vapours from the juice concentration process ­– a job usually done by large, noisy and inefficient cooling towers. No water is lost before it is returned to the river Severn and is only fractionally warmer than when it was taken – hence there is no impact on the local wildlife or environment.

Introduced in time for the 2016 harvest, the water recycling initiative has now been expanded to include the cleaning and movement of apples through the mill. As apples float they can be transported from storage to sorting table in large water flumes, whilst being cleaned at the same time.

Previously the water used in these flumes would have been wholly sourced from fresh mains water and dumped each day to effluent. Now the natural water vapour created from the juice evaporation process is recycled to the flumes instead – offering a completely naturally-sourced utility.

Judges remarked that Aston Manor Cider stood out as a clear winner in the water management category, whose “sensible” and “inventive” method of using its riverside location to avoid wasting water had reduced its fresh water consumption by 33%.

Commendation: Montes


Montes has reduced its water footprint by 50%

To date, Chilean winery Montes has reduced its water footprint by 50% – 1,000,000 m3 of water/year – equivalent to the average annual consumption of 27,300 people. Its initiatives include having 100% drip-irrigated vineyards to using a biological worm-filtered system to convert liquid waste into water for irrigation. Montes has also preserved 44 hectares of native forest on the Divisadero Hill at its Apalta vineyard. The natural water cycle feeds (approximately 1,584,000m3 of) water into the ecosystem for agricultural use and human consumption.


  • Aston Manor Cider
  • Destilerias Unidas (DUSA)
  • Montes
  • Wakefield Wines

One Response to “The Drinks Business Green Awards 2016: the winners”

  1. Sarah Avery says:

    This is such wonderful news, thoroughly deserved as we were able to witness on our visit to you earlier this year, following in John’s footsteps 50 years ago. Mimi and I were very, very grateful you were able to take yourself away from whatever work you were doing at the time to come over and greet us in your exceptionally wonderful winery and vineyard, … thank you again for that!

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