Peak regional association for McLaren Vale grape growers, the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association (MVGWTA) has announced plans for the introduction of a sustainability prerequisite for its annual Wine Show.

The sustainability prerequisite – which will be phased in from 2016 – will make the McLaren Vale Wine Show the first wine show of its kind in Australia to recognize sustainability as a condition of entry.

From 2016, Sustainable Australia Winegrowing (SAW) Membership will be a condition of entry for the Show’s three Single Vineyard classes. All white varieties will follow suit from the 2017 vintage and all reds from the 2018 vintage. By 2019 all current vintages as well as 2018 and 2017 vintage entries must be members of SAW.

“The McLaren Vale Wine Show provides a platform for presenting wines which demonstrate varietal expression, excellence in viticulture and production, as well as provenance and sub-regionality," says MVGWTA Chair, John Hill.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of not only where and how their wines are produced, but the longer term impacts for the environment, economy and community. The introduction of sustainability into our region’s Show will ensure that excellence in production and quality is now celebrated side by side with sustainability.”

The SAW program was developed by Dr Irina Santiago-Brown, McLaren Vale growers and peer reviewed by industry leaders and academics. The program is considered to be Australia’s pre-eminent viticulture sustainability program and provides growers and regions with meaningful benchmarks through a triple bottom line approach which accounts for environmental, social and economic factors of grape production.

“We currently have 133 McLaren Vale growers in the 2015 SAW program, with participation increasing year upon year, so we’re looking forward to building on those numbers as well as exceptional award-winning wines,” says McLaren Vale Wine Show committee chair, Daniel Zuzolo.


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