14 Oct 2011

Most of NZ wine-growing area in sustainable scheme

7:47 am on 14 October 2011

The New Zealand wine industry is very close to its goal of having all wines sustainably produced by next year.

New Zealand Winegrowers marketing director Chris Yorke says that's reflected in entries for this year's national competition, the Air New Zealand wine awards.

More than three quarters of the 1500 entries, including all the 2010 and 2011 vintage wines, meet the sustainability conditions that are a feature of the contest. That's an 80% increase over last year.

Mr Yorke says other wine producing countries have also adopted sustainability programmes, but New Zealand is far advanced in that.

He says over 93% of New Zealand's vineyard area is under an externally sustainable registered scheme.

Mr Yorke says any wines that take part from vintage 2010 onwards in events run by New Zealand Winegrowers have to be 100% sustainable.

He says the sustainable wine growing scheme has been run for about 15 years.

Pinot Noir entries narrowly outnumber Sauvignon Blanc wines in this year's competition.

The wines will be judged later this month with the medal winners announced early in November.