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2014 Sustainable Wine Growers Course participants and instructors

2014 Sustainable Wine Growers Course participants and instructors. Photo: MVGWTA

McLAREN Vale’s grapegrowing community has demonstrated its passion for the region and commitment to its sustainable development through support for a new training course based on the world leading McLaren Vale Sustainable Wine Growing program.

The eight-week course was developed by the McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association (MVGWTA) in partnership with the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board as a result of the ongoing community demand to further develop sustainable practices in the region’s vineyards.

Many of McLaren Vale’s leading grapegrowers and contractors including Derek Cameron, Dudley Brown, Ben Lacey, Sami Gilligan, John Davey and Matt Hatwell will be attending, reinforcing their commitment to continually improving their practices.

These growers have been involved in the development of the Sustainable Winegrowing program since it commenced in 2009.

MVGWTA sustainability officer Irina Santiago is pleased by the uptake of the new course, particularly by long-time sustainability advocates.

“This is a group of progressive growers who understand that sustainability does not have a finish line,” she said.

“They know they must continuously improve what they are doing in their vineyards and understand the importance of sharing their knowledge with the rest of the growing community.”

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges sustainable agriculture and training coordinator Jodie Pain said the program results provided the board with significant reassurance the course would be well received by local growers.

“To see a region with 40 per cent of their vineyards participating in a sustainability program in its second year gave the board a very clear indication that growers in McLaren Vale feel strongly about sustainability and it is willing to again use NRM levy funds to support this, she said.

This course will develop templates and resources on which to base plans for environmental, soil, pest and disease, water, waste and social relations management, all of which will be shared with the whole McLaren Vale grape growing community.

The 2014 season intake for McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Australia will open on 28 May 2014 at a free growers information session held at the Bocce Club starting at 6pm.

Templates and resources will be made available to growers online at http://www.mclarenvale.info/mvgwta/resources following the course.

For more information contact:
Belinda Bramley, MVGWTA industry development officer: 08 8323 8999
Irina Santiago-Brown, MVGWTA sustainability officer: 08 8323 8999
Jodie Pain, Adelaide & Mount Lofty NRM: 08 8550 3405

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