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US sustainability expert visits New Zealand

Raising awareness of the industry's sustainable credentials is a focus for New Zealand Winegrowers and one of the most powerful ways to engage and inspire key influencers is to provide an unforgettable experience. Part of the Communications Plan is bringing targeted media from our key markets to New Zealand to promote our wines and sustainability story.

In June a range of wineries and growers across the country hosted Sandra Taylor, wine writer/ blogger and educator on sustainable agriculture and sustainable winegrowing from the USA.

Sandra is writing a book on sustainability in the global wine industry. Sandra’s goal was to learn more about sustainability efforts in New Zealand and understand how various wineries are undertaking and implementing sustainability practices. “I also sought to better understand the motivations of those viticulturists and vintners who have undertaken practices above and beyond the requirements to be certified sustainable by Sustainable Winegrowing NZ” said Sandra. “I wanted to visit very large producers, medium sized wineries and very small operations as well. And I wanted to know how all these producers viewed the Sustainable Winegrowing NZ program: is it too stringent, not rigorous enough, missing some important aspects, just right? All these aims were met.”
Aside from the book, Sandra is working on:

* A series of blogs on sustainability in the New Zealand wine industry http://www.sustainablebizintl.com/2014/06/new-zealand-a-heritage-of-sustainability/
* An article in the Georgetown Dish on the outstanding progress wineries and grape-growers of New Zealand have made towards the goal of 100% sustainability. This will include a few case studies of wineries visited
* Sandra has conducted the following tastings since the visit which featured New Zealand wines:

* 8 June: Wine tasting for members of the International Women’s Forum of Washington DC
* July 30: Wine tasting for a group of business persons in Washington DC
In in each wine event Sandra included background to and a focus on New Zealand’s sustainability credentials

Here are some comments from Sandra following her visit:
“I enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to travel to New Zealand in June, visiting each of the country’s wine regions, meeting wine producers and learning more about their comprehensive sustainability efforts and successes. The Maori, the land’s original settlers, have a word for these “eternally sustainable” practices: Toitu. Just five letters defines an entire philosophy for not just farming, but also for living. The world of wine, as we know and enjoy it, is similarly much more than just farming, and it demands a multi-faceted approach in order to be sustainable, too. This is a formidable task! However, Sustainable Winegrowing NZ makes this challenge feasible”

“Most people don’t always think of waste as a good thing, but often agricultural byproducts can be useful resources in winemaking! A rich compost can help improve and maintain soil quality and biodiversity. New Zealand viticulturists are absolutely obsessed with making good compost! Several, on my recent trip, couldn’t wait to show me their compost site and tell me about everything that went into it, including ground mussel shells, seaweed and of course manure. I was so impressed with their commitment to adding organic matter back into the soil around the vines and their total rejection of the use of chemical fertilizers. They are convinced that it produces a healthier grape and sometimes a thicker skin, more resistant to pests.”

Winery sustainability stories uploaded to nzwine.com http://www.nzwine.com/sustainability/sustainability-in-action/ are used to build the itineraries. If you are interested in hosting future media to help promote the industry's sustainability story, please contact Sarah Szegota.

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<p>nevver:</p><p>Sherlock Holmes</p>

nevver: Sherlock Holmes

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This is true.