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THE Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) has contracted the McLaren Vale Grape, Wine and Tourism Association to explore the most effective and efficient ways a wine region can receive International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification.

The certification will enable the region to receive the environmental and economic benefits associated with the implementation of the ISO 1401 standard.

“This is an exciting project that will determine whether ISO 1401 certification for a wine region is feasible,” GWRDC executive director Stuart Thomson said.

“The scoping project will outline the benefits that ISO 1401 certification can deliver for a wine region, providing reference to improved farm gate returns and improved margins that wine brands can achieve.

“Part of the project will develop tools so that other wine regions have a step-by-step guide to gaining ISO certification.

“This would enable Australian grape growers and winemakers to adopt a highly recognisable international environmental standard.”

According to McLaren Vale Grape, Wine and Tourism Association consultant chief executive Marc Allgrove, “McLaren Vale has established an environmental stewardship and sustainability program covering more than 50 per cent of our annual production”.

“McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is the first and only Australian sustainability program focused on viticulture and, now in its fourth year, it has delivered tangible improvements to the profitability and performance of McLaren Vale grapegrowers,” he said.

“The next step is to have our program receive international certification and all of the benefits that external benchmarking and recognition can deliver.”

McLaren Vale is undertaking this work on behalf of all Australian wine regions.

Allgrove said he wants Australian wine to be internationally recognised as environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

“By helping all regions understand how to obtain ISO certification, we can contribute to a stronger international reputation for excellence in Australian wine.”

Contact: Abbey Flanagan

Communications coordinator, GWRDC

P: 61 8 8273 0500

M: 61 (0)401 082 124

E: abbey@gwrdc.com