New Zealand Winegrowers Reached A Major Sustainability Milestone

In today's wine world, sustainability means more than just encouraging customers to recycle their Sauvignon Blanc bottles after the last glass has been poured. With more and more consumers seeking out companies that align with their personal beliefs, some winemakers are going above and beyond to be eco-friendly. In New Zealand, vineyards have reached a sustainability milestone that may end up setting an example for other countries. 

According to New Zealand Winegrowers, the region's winemakers have been working for years to make quality wine while also reducing the impacts of climate change. Their tactics include practicing efficient water use, lessening waste, "protecting and enhancing the health of [their] soils," and cultivating a workplace that makes employee want to stick around. The end goal is for the winegrowers to be carbon neutral by 2050. And as Decanter notes, New Zealand is "a nation that's acutely aware of its environment and the protection of it," so it certainly has the potential to become a world leader in the organic wine movement. If you're a wine connoisseur who tends to seek out particular wines based on terroir or varietal, it might be time for a new approach. 

Could New Zealand set an example for other wine regions?

While wine drinkers might have a preferred brand, region, or varietal, New Zealand winegrowers are making a case for choosing a bottle based on environmental initiatives. According to Food & Wine, a 2022 sustainability report by the New Zealand Winegrowers asserts that 96% of New Zealand vineyards have achieved sustainable status. By focusing on "the journey of wine from grape to glass," the winemakers have identified six focus areas: climate change, water, waste, plant protection, soil, and people. From making every water drop count to striving for zero landfill waste, each component helps the winemakers "continue leading the way as an industry of choice."

Although consumers may not be aware of the sustainable efforts that went into the wine they're pouring, the Beverage Trade Network notes that eco-friendly and organic wines are becoming more desirable. And if New Zealand's sustainability milestone is any indication, these types of eco-conscious wines could become more and more commonplace as time goes on.