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Thursday 14 December 2023

Two Tasmanian vineyards recognised for sustainability

The Tasmanian wine sector's environmental sustainability report for 2023 has been released, with two vineyards recognised for their practices during the season.

The voluntary VinØ ('vin zero') program is a framework to ensure Tasmania’s wine producers are doing everything they can to produce high-quality wine without negative impacts on the environment or local communities.

Paul Smart, Wine Tasmania's Viticulture & Winemaking Officer, noted that just under half of Tasmania's vineyard area was managed under the VinØ Program in 2022/23 (41%), with 30 vineyards and wineries reporting on a range of business and sustainability practices.

"The VinØ Program covers all aspects of vineyard and winery management, such as soil health, biodiversity, carbon emissions, waste and water management, biosecurity, social and human resources," Smart said.

"In 2023, practices across biodiversity, carbon emissions, waste management, pest and disease management and biosecurity all saw improvements. Biodiversity will remain a key focus area for 2024, as well as winery practices and one-on-one support for program members."

Smart announced two VinØ Program awards for 2023: Stargazer Wines in the Coal River Valley (top image) was awarded the 2023 VinØ Program Champion, while Westella Vineyard in the Tamar Valley was announced as the 2023 VinØ Program Most Improved Producer.

Accepting the award on behalf of Stargazer owner Sam Connew, Bryn Williams said: ""We are thrilled to receive the VinØ Program Champion award this year.

"It goes to show how large an impact small incremental change can have on a business. It's been very valuable for Stargazer to assess its own procedures through the VinØ framework.

"There is always room for improvement and reflection and our business will evolve as the VinØ Program continues to develop and expand in the future."

Jacquie Adkins of Westella Vineyard said: "After joining VinØ, we quickly realised the value of the program's organisational framework. VinØ has become an essential tool for Westella as we strive for continuous improvement and identify areas of our vineyard operations that require focus. Winning the award was a welcome recognition of the planning, paperwork, and physical effort that goes into developing a vineyard and achieving high quality fruit."

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