New World winemakers go carbon zero
The New Zealand Wine Company has become the first in the world to produce totally carbon-neutral wines. The makers of Grove Mill and Sanctuary in Marlborough wanted to minimise the environmental impact of carbon-dioxide emissions from all aspects of their business. For example, their air travel alone created 65 tons. To do this, the company first took steps to reduce emissions where possible. Some, however, remained unavoidable, so the company set about compensating for those by planting native forests. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, so they help to offset the damage from emissions – the cause of global warming. Chief executive Rob White said, ‘The company is extremely proud to have achieved such a significant environmental milestone.’ Meanwhile, Australia has just got its first on-neutral winery. Margaret River producer Cullen Wines has paid for 1,132 native trees to be planted to offset its carbon emissions. These are planted by volunteers under the Men of Trees Carbon Neutral programme, mostly in the wheat belt of Western Australia. According to Cullen, these trees have added benefits. Firstly, they help to combat the soil-salinity problems caused by tree clearance in the area. Furthermore, they also create wildlife corridors and help farmers revegetate degraded land. Cullen is no stranger to farming grapes in a naturally sustainable manner. The winery was certified organic in 2003 and biodynamic a year later.