Sustainable Winegrowing NZ

Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand certification programme (SWNZ) is an industry-wide certification programme led by New Zealand Winegrowers.

Sustainable Winegrowing NZ™ is widely recognised as a world-leading sustainability programme and was one of the first to be established in the international wine industry in 1995.

SWNZ launched in 1995, as a programme based on continuous improvement and adherence to standards that ensures members meet international guidelines for sustainability practices in the vineyard and winery.

The programme was elected by grape growers across the country, followed by wineries with the establishment of sustainable winery certification standards in 2002.

Today, 96% of New Zealand’s vineyard producing area is SWNZ certified, with another 10% operating under recognised certified organic programmes.

Over 90% of the wine produced in New Zealand is processed in SWNZ certified facilities. This level of industry-wide participation in a sustainability scheme is a massive point of difference for wine produced in New Zealand. SWNZ certifies all parts of the production chain including vineyards, wineries, bottling facilities, and brands.

The certification process

To be SWNZ certified, all members must complete annual submissions and undergo regular on-site audits conducted by an independent verification company. Annual submissions are made through an online questionnaire covering off impacts across the industry's six focus areas, which are Soil, Water, Plant Protection, Waste, People and more recently Climate Change.

Vineyard members must also submit a full spray diary annually, which documents all agrichemical applications made to the vineyard that season. Spray diaries are processed for compliance to ensure that only approved products have been used and specific rules of use have been adhered to.

If a question is answered showing that a vineyard or winery practice does not comply with industry best practice, corrective actions are raised and the business has a window of time in which to remedy the issue.

Wine made from grapes grown in 100% SWNZ-certified vineyards and produced in 100% SWNZ-certified winemaking facilities can display the SWNZ logo on the bottle. This is your guarantee of sustainable production from grape to glass.

 

Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand provides members with:

  • the confidence of operating within a robust sustainability framework, allowing wine companies to make strong sustainability claims in their markets
  • market access for growers to sell their grapes to wine companies that are SWNZ-certified and use the SWNZ logo
  • empirical evidence to demonstrate sustainability credentials of grape growing and winemaking practices to local councils and central government (potentially minimising the costs of environmental regulation)
  • benchmarking reports that highlight areas for improvement, enabling members to make decisions to maximise resource efficiency and enhance economic sustainability
  • feedback and guidance enabling members to continuously improve and fine-tune their operational systems and processes
  • access to information resources and events to enable members to stay up-to-date with the latest best practice methods.

If you have any questions about joining Sustainable Winegrowing NZ please contact membership@swnz.org.nz

Monitor, measure, reduce... repeat.

To meet the NZ Winegrowers sustainability policy, sustainable certification must be awarded through an independently audited programme, either by Sustainable Winegrowing NZ™ or a recognised organic or biodynamic certification. Other recognised certification programmes include AsureQuality, BioGro-NZ, Demeter, ISO 140001. Wines that are 100% certified sustainable through one or more of these programmes are eligible for entry into NZW events.

Approved sustainable winemaking acrediation programmes operating in New Zealand
Sustainability Webpage Video Document
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