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Yealands Receives Top Honours

Yealands Receives Top Honours at BRIT's 2017 International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing Competition


19th January 2017


Yealands Family Wines (Yealands) are celebrating the start of 2017 with a Platinum Medal received at the International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing Competition run by The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT®).

BRIT honours organisations in the wine industry that are taking a leading role in implementing sustainable practices with its International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing. The organisation looks at the implementation of innovative sustainable practices in the categories of air, water and land in both winegrowing and winemaking; social responsibility practices and the quality (taste) of the wine.

Yealands received the top honour for their on-going environmental, economic and social sustainability programmes, and, importantly, for how well their wine tastes.
“Yealands’ list of sustainable programs is long and impressive. That takes commitment and vision,” said Ed Schneider, BRIT's president and director. “Peter Yealands’ goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable winegrower could only be slightly upstaged by the quality of his wines.”

In response to this excellent award, Peter Yealands, Founder and Principal of Yealands, wanted to thank his team. “As always, with an amazing award like this, it is achievable only because everyone in the team is so passionate about the work that we do. It’s a true team effort, none of this would be possible without the amazing team that we have formed here,” said Mr. Yealands. “This award really highlights what we’ve been saying all along- that creating great tasting wines doesn’t have to cost the earth.”

Yealands’ achievements in sustainability include being the world’s first carboNZero certified winery as well as being home to the largest solar array in New Zealand, generating over 411 kilowatts of power while offsetting 82 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Their other innovative sustainable programmes include: wind-powered energy; using a flock of miniature Babydoll sheep to graze in between vines rows reducing the need for mechanical mowing; installing floating solar-powered lighting in its wetlands to attract grass grub beetles thereby reducing the need for chemical pesticides while protecting the grapevines; and burning vine prunings instead of propane gas thus eliminating over 180 tonnes of CO2 per year.

When submitting for the competition, wineries are asked to provide a self-assessment of their organization's accomplishments in sustainable winegrowing, winemaking, and ecopreneural/social responsibility practices. They describe their organization's conservation efforts in the field and in operations; how waste is avoided, how it is reclaimed, and how the winery extends conservation efforts to its customers. They also are required to submit a bottle of wine for a tasting by the judging committee.

The wine submitted by Yealands and awarded was Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2016.
Additional BRIT sustainable awards went to:

Gold medals
• Halter Ranch Vineyard, California. Halter submitted its 2014 Halter Ranch Ancestor.
• Bodega Tapiz, Argentina. Tapiz submitted its 2013 Trapiz Alta Collection Malbec.
• Château Couhins, France. Château Couhins submitted its 2015 Château Couhins white

Silver medals
• Muratori, Tenuta Villa Crespia, Italy. Muratori submitted its Simbiotico Villa Crespia Franciacorta Brut sparkling wine.
• Grupo Matarromera, Spain. Matarromera submitted its 2015 Granza Verdejo.
• Bien Nacido Vineyards, California; Bien Nacido submitted its 2012 Pinot Noir.
• Ruffino, Italy. Ruffino submitted its 2011 Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti.

As a non-profit, international plant research and knowledge sharing organization, BRIT offers this award to help raise interest and awareness of the value plants bring to our lives and the need for biodiversity.

Presentation of the platinum award to Yealands Family Wines will be made on Thursday 30th March 2017 during the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival at the W. R. Watt Arena in Fort Worth and will feature a first ever, 1,000-person toast to the winner.

-Ends-

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