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What to do, where to go and what's on in the McLaren Vale region.

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For Members of the McLaren Vale Grape, Wine & Tourism Association.

Sustainability in McLaren Vale

McLaren Vale is the most environmentally sustainable wine grape growing region in Australia.

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Sustainability in McLaren Vale

McLaren Vale is the most environmentally sustainable wine grape growing region in Australia, leading the way in organic practices, water management and climate-appropriate plantings.*

In 2011 McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association (MVGWTA) introduced the Sustainable Australia Winegrowing Program (SAW) which was a result of a series of initiatives developed by MVGWTA since the early 2000’s. SAW was developed to maximise grower and regional overall sustainability, and aimed to minimise environmental impacts. The data captured and reported provided growers with the best management tool to demonstrate their performance against their regional peers and recognised best practice. The Program assessed sustainability through the triple bottom line approach (environment, economic and social) and focused on continuous improvement of the grower and the region’s results over time.

The SAW Program ran until early 2019 by which point, 72% of McLaren Vale’s area under vine used the SAW Program to assess and improve practices. Following a global review of the sustainability landscape, MVGWTA and The Australian Wine Research Institute, with support from Wine Australia and Australian Grape and Wine worked together to develop a single national sustainability program, building on the strengths of the then existing Entwine and SAW Programs.

For further information regarding Australia's national sustainability program Sustainable Winegrowing Australia, please click here.

For further information on McLaren Vale's sustainability timeline please click here.

*Source: Wine Australia

Image copyright (C) Yangarra Estate

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Snapshot of Sustainability in McLaren Vale (as of 1st July 2021):

  • McLaren Vale has 127 Sustainable Winegrowing Australia vineyard members (26 certified members)
  • McLaren Vale has 7 Sustainable Winegrowing Australia winery members (4 certified members)
  • McLaren Vale has the highest percentage of certified Biodynamic and Organic vineyards in Australia with approximately 38% of vineyards in the area certified Biodynamic and Organic*. (*source AWRI report)
  • In the 1990s, McLaren Vale became Australia’s first wine region to self-impose water restrictions on its underground resources (*source Willunga Basin Water Company)
  • McLaren Vale is home to the first and largest recycled water network in Australia with approximately 50% of vineyards in the region irrigated using treated reclaimed water. (*source)