28 August 2010 by Robyn Campbell

Integrity in every bottle

When it comes to producing wines in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way, South Africa is an acknowledged world leader.

Currently wine in South Africa is certified according to 2 certification systems: Wine of Origin (WO) and Integrated Production of Wine (IPW).

The Wine of Origin (WO) scheme is to South African wines what the Appellation d’origine Contrôlée (AOC) is to French wines. A WO seal confirms a wine’s place of origin, its variety, and vintage, but gives no clue as to how the wine is made.

The Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) is a voluntary environmental sustainability scheme established by the South African wine industry in 1998, and complies with international wine industry environmental sustainability criteria.

Earlier this year, an alternative seal was introduced, that links the IPW system to the Wine of Origin system.

For you, the wine consumer, the ‘new’ seal is your assurance that any wine bearing the seal is certified under the South African Wine and Spirit Board’s WO and IPW systems.

In layman’s terms, it means

  • The wine has been produced in a  sustainable, and earth-friendly manner
  • The wine can be traced from vine to bottle
  • That it’s a 100% South African wine
  • The vintage, variety, and origin shown on the label are correct.

Additionally, the seal confirms the wine has been audited, for integrated pest management, farm worker wellness, biodiversity conservation, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently participation in the IPW scheme is voluntary, as is the adoption of the integrated seal.

Local winemakers have supported the initiative enthusiastically; and it’s expected that within a few years, 85% of South African wine producers will be eligible for the IPW seal.

When next you buy, or taste, a bottle of South African wine, look out for the new IPW seal. Moreover, take pleasure in the assurance provided by the IPW seal that there’ll be similarly great ‘green’ wines for the next generation of wine lovers to enjoy.

Category: Food & Wine

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