Green Awards 2018: the winners revealed

Amorim Sustainability Award for a Generic Organisation

209 million cases of wine are produced in a certified winery

Winner:
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance

This generic organisation impressed judges with its dedication to sustainable winegrowing in California, and proven results in encouraging producers to convert their vineyards to accredited sustainable practices. In just 15 years, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) has made a significant impact on its region, promoting more environmentally friendly practices within the wine trade, while supporting efforts to protect its environment. Judges applauded the organisation for its top down approach, considering all aspects of sustainability, with its entry backed up with lots of figures outlining its clear successes in 2017. Among the organisation’s milestones of 2017 and 2018 was its continued growth of its Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (Certified Sustainable) accreditation, its Down to Earth campaign – a month-long celebration of sustainable winegrowing – as well as its on-going Outreach and Education programme to help better inform and advance the industry. Through annual third-party audits, its Certified Sustainable accreditation provides assurances relating to the sustainability of a producer’s soil health, water and energy use, habitat and human resources. Certified vineyards and wineries must also measure resources and performance and improve annually. In 2017, CSWA released the first Certified Sustainable Annual Report, highlighting a 46% increase in the number of certified vineyards and 20% increase in the number of certified wineries. Currently, 60,671 hectares (149,922 acres) of vineyards are certified, and 209 million cases of wine are produced in a certified winery. In addition, in 2017 a new logo for the certification on wine labels was introduced to raise recognition and awareness of its brand. Already, more than 540,000 cases of 2017 vintage will carry the new logo.

Commendation:
Napa Valley Vintners

Operating under the mantra to “promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley”, Napa Valley Vintner impressed judges with their dedication and focus on sustainability. Established in 1944, its members are encouraged to adhere to the organisation’s Napa Green Certification Program – a comprehensive sustainability certification program for vineyards and wineries in the Napa Valley. Measures required include protecting and restoring the Napa River watershed; saving energy and water; reducing waste and carbon footprint; and being conscientious employers and good neighbours, with independent, third party certification audits carried out annually. In 2015, NVV set itself goal to have all eligible members (those who own 5 acres of vineyard land or a winery facility) signed up to a Napa Green programme by the end of 2020. Through dedicated marketing, PR and educational outreach efforts, the NVV has been able to dramatically increase participation from 30% in 2015, to 70% as of October 2018. Today, more than 55% of Napa Valley’s vineyard acreage has achieved Napa Green Land certification (NGCL), representing more than 24,000 vineyard acres and another 22,000+ acres of non-vineyard land across more than 400 properties. It has since set itself a target of 100% membership by 2022. Judges in particular praised the implementation of a simple and clear ‘100 measures’ initiative to Napa Green, encouraging members to meet clear criteria to reduce energy and increase water efficiency, reduce waste and cut greenhouse gas emissions. In just 28 months, the scheme has helped saved Napa Green wineries more than $500,000 in energy rate adjustments and identified rebate potential for efficiency upgrades, supporting the economic sustainability of the region.

Amorim Sustainability Award for a Company

Based in Kent, Davenport Vineyards was founded by winemaker Will Davenport in 1991

Winner:
Davenport Vineyards

This year the Amorim Sustainability Award for a company went to English wine producer, Davenport Vineyards. Based in Kent, Davenport Vineyards was founded by winemaker Will Davenport in 1991 with a six-acre vineyard. It has since expanded to 24 acres, all of which were certified organic in 2000, and produces around 35,000 bottles of white, red and sparkling wines each year. Will is a passionate advocate of sustainable winemaking, believing that even the smallest of producers can make a big difference. The team only applies green waste compost and organic poultry manure to its vineyards, and vine health and vigour is recorded on an app allowing it to target compost applications. The vineyard has permanent green manure cover and vines are treated only with sulphur, copper, seaweed, and comfrey / nettle tea: no herbicides are used, avoiding the high-energy costs used in the production of NPK fertilisers and the risk of chemical run-off. The team minimise the use of copper each year, only spraying when required, and pesticides are avoided completely. The headlands and land around the vineyard are managed to encourage biodiversity, and the farm is in the UK’s Countryside Stewardship Scheme, with a new agreement planned for 2019. Wider measures include the use of solar panels, LED lighting and the use of lightweight glass bottles with minimal packaging. The winery itself is not heated, with wines fermented at ambient temperatures, and all chemicals are avoided in the winemaking process, while sulphite additions are minimal. Yeast is not added, along with fining agents, and wines are often bottled unfiltered. Furthermore, all of its wine is sold in the UK, the majority within just 100 miles of the winery. Demonstrating a strong commitment to a sustainable ethos, judges were particularly impressed by Davenport’s honest entry, where every element of its impact on the environment had been considered, and every action taken with a clear purpose toward becoming more sustainable. Furthermore, judges felt it done with the heart.

Commendation:
Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain

Wine giant Pernod Ricard was rewarded with a commendation in recognition of its dedication to creating a more sustainable future for its wineries in Spain. Its state-of-the-art winery, Bodegas Campo Viejo, opened in 2001 following the principles of sustainable architecture, seamlessly integrated with the environment to minimise its impact. It was the first Spanish winery to certify its Carbon Footprint to the ISO 14064 standard, meaning that the winery is constantly monitoring its greenhouse gas emissions to ensure it is sustainable. To offset its carbon footprint, 57 hectares of vineyard and 26 hectares of woodland surround the winery, with the aim of capturing carbon released during fermentation at the winery. A lot of organic by-products, such as leftover grape skins, are reused as fertilisers or sent to other companies who use them as raw material. Other actions taken include not using any boilers that use fossil fuels and reducing the weight of its bottles, from 550g to 380g, effectively reducing glass usage by a third. The winery limits water use to just 0.77l per bottle, compared with 2.25l used by most Spanish wineries, saving more than 20 Olympic pools of water every year. A network of water metres is positioned throughout the winery to ensure water consumption is kept to a minimum. The team also works closely with grape growers and suppliers to ensure they adhere to the sustainable guidelines of AENOR, the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification. Overall, judges praised the company for its adoption of renewable energy and water saving initiatives, and loved the fact that it was apparent that the employees had really been involved in the company’s drive for sustainability.

Shortlist:
Altia Plc
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
Cono Sur Winery
Davenport Vineyards
Glengoyne Distillery
Napa Valley Vintners
Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain

Amorim Biodiversity Award

The Wine, Climate Change and Biodiversity Programme is a project based on a collaboration of 20 wineries

Winner:
Wine, Climate Change and Biodiversity Programme

Another brilliant Chilean initiative, the Wine, Climate Change and Biodiversity Programme is a project based on a collaboration of 20 wineries that promotes the strategic use of nature within and around vineyards, thereby encouraging more biodiversity-rich wine landscapes.

A total of 20 Chilean wineries of varying sizes are involved in the project that collectively account for 70% of Chilean wine exports. Among those involved are Santa Rita, Montes, Emiliana, Errazuriz and Concha y Toro. Importantly, whatever their size, they are all working towards the same credible environmental goals. Among the group’s current initiatives to encourage biodiversity are the introduction of conservation areas, building nest boxes for birds, the creation of biological corridors in the vineyards and planting cover crops between the vines.

As part of the project, 26,499 hectares of Chilean forest has been protected by its partner wineries, which equates to an 11% increase in protected land within the Chilean Mediterranean forest area. In addition, four endemic threatened species thought to be extinct have been re-discovered, including the elusive güiña, the smallest wildcat in the Americas.

It’s wonderful that 20 wineries should have gotten together to do this, after all, this is not done by a generic association; it’s a science-based winery initiative.

The judges loved the video that came with the pitch, which featured people going out into the vineyards on horseback, rather than in vehicles.

Commendation:
Pernod Ricard Winemakers (Jacob’s Creek)

Jacob’s Creek submitted a strong entry focused on the re-introduction and preservation of native species in and around the creek. Our judges wanted to commend it for working towards an ambitious and worthy 2020 plan to significantly enhance biodiversity at Jacob’s Creek in Australia’s Barossa Valley and have a lasting impact on the local ecosystem. Over 6,500 native plants have been established around the creek over the last two years, and native species populations are on the rise, particularly rare native fish.

Shortlist:
Nonni Strategic Marketing (for Ferrari Trentodoc)
Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain
Wine, Climate Change and Biodiversity Program
Viña San Pedro, VSPT Wine Group

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