Middle earth just got greener

14 November, 2008

New Zealand's environmental, social and economic viticulture programme, Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand, has signed up its 1,000th vineyard.

That means nearly 80% of the country's wine-producing land - 22,500ha of 29,000ha - is farmed according to the programme's strict regulations on environmental, social and economic sustainability. One

hundred wineries are signed up to the programme - more than 75% of New Zealand's wine production.

New Zealand Winegrowers introduced the programme in 1995, and chief executive Philip Gregan said it is becoming more

crucial as

exports grow.

"Consumers have expectations regarding sustainably and ethically produced products and we must ensure we meet these expectations. We are delighted to see the membership to Sustainable Winegrowing continuing to rise, showing commitment to sustainability ," he said.

The body aims to have all New

Zealand grapes and wine produced

under an independently

audited programme by 2012.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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