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Margaret River wineries lead the nation in Sustainable Winegrowing Australia credentials

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Voyager Estate's chief winemaker Tim Shand and vineyard manager Glen Ryan.
Camera IconVoyager Estate's chief winemaker Tim Shand and vineyard manager Glen Ryan. Credit: Supplied/RegionalHUB

A new survey of Australian wineries taking part in an international sustainability scheme has revealed Margaret River is leading the nation.

The recently-released 2022 Sustainable Winegrowing Australia Impact Report revealed significant growth and support of the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia program during the past two years.

The Margaret River wine region now had 51 certified members compared to only 18 members in 2020, Margaret River Wine Association chief executive Amanda Whiteland said.

Despite the local region representing just two per cent of the nation’s grapes, local SWA members made up the biggest proportion, with 17 per cent of wineries members of the scheme, vineyards eight per cent, and certified members 14 per cent.

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“The innate suitability of Margaret River’s land and climate to fine wine viticulture enables vignerons to grow outstanding grapes while working with the environment holistically,” Ms Whiteland said.

“The SWA program helps growers and wineries formalise their approach and put continuous improvement at the heart of their sustainability plans.

“It is great to see vineyards and wineries taking their commitment to the next level through certifications.”

Also as part of their ongoing commitment to sustainability and reduced energy and water use, leading vineyards were seeking membership and status within the International Wineries for Climate Action framework.

Voyager Estate, which joined the scheme in 2020, just recently announced it had achieved silver member status.

Wineries which achieve gold or silver status within IWCA commit to net zero emissions by 2050 and annual auditing, as well as show evidence that their winemaking operations are powered by renewables.

Voyager’s head of sustainability Michelle McManus said the silver status was a thrilling result of the winery’s efforts.

“(It is) a testament to years of commitment and action on energy efficiency, fuel reductions, and a range of other activities across our business,” she said.

“With an audited carbon emissions baseline, we are committed to reducing our emissions by 35 per cent by 2030.

“We are excited to be working alongside other wineries who are also working towards a lower emissions future.”

Voyager was also heavily involved in the SWA programs which included their focus on revegetation and emissions reductions, putting them in the top 10 per cent of members.

Ms Whiteland said MRWA was aiming for the “ambitious goal” of 100 per cent of members complying with the national SWA program and 50 per cent achieving certification by the end of 2025.

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