Sustainable Viticulture

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

sustainable viticulture, a form of viticultural practice informed by the United Nations’ seminal definition of sustainability: ‘the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.

In reality, the term is applied quite liberally and almost invariably falls short of environmentalist ideals of being completely self-sustaining. The Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) initiative, for example, was established in 1995 to provide a ‘best practice’ environmental model for both vineyard and winery. SWNZ is independently audited but stops short of prohibiting man-made inputs such as pesticides. However, such programmes can, via grower education, significantly reduce the number and strength of chemical sprayings, which is of both environmental and economic benefit. A related approach is integrated pest management, as are LISA or LEISA, acronyms which stand for Low (External) Input Sustainable Agriculture, terms often used for programmes in North America and Australia.