McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Australia
"We don’t inherit the world from our parents, we borrow it from our children." Chapel Hill Wine CEO Marc Allgrove discusses sustainable viticulture and winemaking in McLaren Vale.
Believed to be one of the finest programs for sustainability in viticulture in the world, the launch of the McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (MVSWGA) program on the 10 April 2012 was a big step forward in a very important development for the McLaren Vale Wine Region.
As one of the globally current “buzz - words”, the term “Sustainable” incurs an array of uses, abuse and appropriation by many interests across politics, media, supply – chain and public or consumer interest groups. To many, it seems that “Sustainable Winegrowing” should be readily amenable to measurement and reporting of a few simple metrics, e.g. water or fuel use and thus be comparable across all production systems; if only it were so simple!
Much of the attraction of wine across the globe is founded in its diversity, with production from highly diverse regional and social geographies interacting with similarly varied economies and markets. Genuinely sustainable winegrowing must embrace the base “triple bottom line” principles relating to economic, social and environmental considerations and applied within a specific regional context. If continuous improvements in sustainability are desired, then actions cannot simply be reduced to using a universal template for accounting and reporting purposes.
The approach undertaken within the McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (MVSWGA) scheme has been founded squarely on “triple bottom line” principles around which high priority-high impact regional drivers have been identified and incorporated for deliberately targeted action. Such an approach will deliver significant direct dividends for regional sustainability of the winegrowing industry, the natural resource base on which it depends and the social context within which it operates.