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.
Monitor, measure, reduce... repeat.
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.
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, Pest and Disease, 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.