Touching the earth gently results in award winning wines
24 April 2012 by DGB (Pty) Ltd
To make award winning, commercially successful wines while farming in an
ethical and sustainable manner is not mutually exclusive, however, this
approach, where the environment and community is as important as the
final product, requires a careful strategy and sincere motivation.
Recently one the largest independent wine and spirit producer in Africa, DGB (Pty) Ltd, proved their worth by being awarded the prestigious Drinks Business Ethical Award in London on March 26 for their rural carbon offset program. The Drinks Business Green Awards is an international competition held in London between drinks companies worldwide and rewards leadership on environment, sustainability and climate change.
This is the second time DGB, which includes familiar brands such as Boschendal, Brampton, Douglas Green, Bellingham and Franschhoek Cellars in their stable, has won an award at this prestigious event; the company’s glass light-weighting project won The Drinks Business Green Award for Logistics and Supply Chain in 2011.
The year’s winning initiative involves a program, known as the Mooiplaas Bamboo plantation; a 10ha bamboo plantation established in East London. The plantation will create business opportunities and income for rural communities in the region, while offsetting their carbon footprint. Bamboo was specifically chosen due to its high carbon offset potential, versatile commercial value and the multitude of its uses employed by the local community. Bamboo can also be used as packaging material and is being considered for DGB's progressive eco-intelligent packaging. The ultimate goal is for the company to become completely carbon neutral.
DGB has an established track record of sound environmental practices and recently became the 4th Cape wine producer to achieve ISO 14001 accreditation.
Boschendal’s Method Cap Classic wine, the Boschendal Grande Cuvee Brut 2007 is the estate’s wine equivalent for their social responsibility program. The sparkling wine has already won numerous awards including the recent Classic Wine trophy award and double Gold Veritas proving that a superior product is often the result of close attention and sensitivity towards the environment.
It is certainly satisfying to DGB winemaker JC Bekker who has been working on sustainability projects for 10 years and will always try “tread as softly as possible” when dealing with the environment. The Boschendal Estate has invested heavily in an alien clearing project on the property, which has the added benefit of liberating the natural water sources. Nearly 100 ha have already been restored and are now in the transition back to their natural state after a successful clearing campaign.
The Estate is also increasingly using organic and biological control of pests and diseases by way of natural predators and strict withholding periods. In addition there are various alternative packaging, waste-water and recycling projects which further support the strong eco-ethos of the company.
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