Middle earth just got greener

14 November, 2008

New Zealand's environmental, social and economic viticulture programme, Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand, has signed up its 1,000th vineyard.

That means nearly 80% of the country's wine-producing land - 22,500ha of 29,000ha - is farmed according to the programme's strict regulations on environmental, social and economic sustainability. One

hundred wineries are signed up to the programme - more than 75% of New Zealand's wine production.

New Zealand Winegrowers introduced the programme in 1995, and chief executive Philip Gregan said it is becoming more

crucial as

exports grow.

"Consumers have expectations regarding sustainably and ethically produced products and we must ensure we meet these expectations. We are delighted to see the membership to Sustainable Winegrowing continuing to rise, showing commitment to sustainability ," he said.

The body aims to have all New

Zealand grapes and wine produced

under an independently

audited programme by 2012.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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