Griffith winery De Bortoli Wines has been recognised as NSW’s first and only platinum partner of the NSW Government’s Sustainability Advantage Program, an initiative that supports organisations to be more efficient and save money by reducing resource, energy and water use, and waste.
Managing director Darren De Bortoli, the grandson of company founders Vittorio and Giuseppina De Bortoli, accepted a plaque marking the achievement from NSW Environment Minister Penny Sharpe at a lavish ceremony at the Sydney Opera House on Monday 24 July.
“It’s great recognition for us and the way we apply science to do our business,” Mr De Bortoli said.
“The inner-city elites tend to think of country people as dumbos [in regard to sustainability] … but if you’re living in the local environment, you’re best informed to know what to do.”
More than 800 organisations have participated in the Sustainability Advantage Program, with nearly half of all members being based in regional NSW. More than 30 per cent have been recognised as bronze, silver or gold partners for achieving positive environmental outcomes, with De Bortoli the first to be named a platinum partner.
“Since 2009, De Bortoli Wines has been a member of the program, resulting in a number of initiatives created to help increase efficiency in resource usage,” the company said in a statement.
“Further, this partnership was instrumental in gaining a grant from the Federal Government in 2013 to perform a major upgrade to the Bilbul Winery. This whole project resulted in a 16 per cent saving in energy compared to the base year, this was the result of the efficiencies gained through not reprocessing the bottles, solar power and hot water installation as well as wine processing improvements.
“In 2019, De Bortoli Wines was recognised as a Sustainability Advantage Gold Partner for the second time. Fast forward to 2022, achieving a platinum partnership recognises the effort of De Bortoli Wines as an organisation that consistently demonstrated innovation, performance and sustainability practices in becoming a zero-waste winery.”
The winery says its adoption of sustainable practices has resulted in healthier fruit that produces both better quality wine and a better bottom line.
“This recognition further solidifies our culture at De Bortoli of continuous improvement which drives us to explore new and innovative approaches to sustainable wine production. Our commitment to sustainability and making sustainable wines will continue in 2023 and beyond,” Mr De Bortoli said.
The company has won a number of other awards for its sustainable practices. Last year, its broadacre farm manager Darrell Fiddler was awarded The Lamb Weston Stewardship & Community Award at the 2022 Zimmatic Trailblazer Sustainable Irrigation Awards, which recognised his commitment to research and innovation to improve biodiversity.
Darren’s mother Emeri is also known for her love of nature, having cultivated one of the most impressive gardens in rural NSW – 14 acres featuring a vast manicured lawn, specimen plants, sculptures, dry riverbeds, lagoons, billabongs, a waterfall, a Venetian bridge, narrow walkways, drystone walls, a wooden teepee and a folly.
More information on Emeri’s garden and De Bortoli Wines can be found on their website.