Sustainability at SAAM Mountain Vineyards

SAAM Mountain Vineyards

Sustainability: What’s it all about?

From reducing carbon emissions, the introduction of lightweight bottles, priorities on the health of workers, plus pest and wildlife management schemes -  the tides have turned in the production of wine around the world.  

Sustainability and SAAM

One of our South African producers, SAAM, is really focusing on ways they reduce their impact on the environment.  Ethical and biodiversity commitments are important issues for SAAM, as they work hard to build a legacy in the Paarl area.  In addition to its 3,000ha of sustainably farmed vineyards, it has 1000ha which are made up of wetlands, sand and mountainous areas – all adding to creating a stable natural environment and promoting further biodiversity in the region.

SAAM has been awarded the Seal of Sustainability by Wines of South Africa, as part of the IPW (Integrated Production of Wine), a voluntary environmental sustainability scheme established by the South African wine industry in 1998. SAAM was audited and is entitled to use the seal from its 2010 vintage as a guarantee to sustainable winemaking practices. The winery will be audited every year by the Wine and Spirit Board to make sure that sustainable practices remain in place.  Schemes such as these will over time enrich the winemaking process, pushing wine making standards ever higher, while of course protecting the all important local environment.

What else have they done?

Always keen to increase their green credentials, and decrease their carbon footprint, SAAM was amongst the first of our South African producers to use lightweight bottles across their range. The winery managed to reduce the weight of their bottles by 60g to enable a decrease of 1,058.4 kg per container, saving an amazing 8 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.

An increase in importance of environmental and ethical wine production, packaging and distribution across the globe, would be welcomed by many international wine markets.

Author:
Rob Pickard
Date:
31st August 2010


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