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Sally Scarborough
10 November 2023 | Sally Scarborough

Scarborough Wine Co Gains Sustainable Winegrowing Australia Certification


As stewards of the land and as a multi-generational wine family, we are consciously managing our vineyards, winery and business for long term sustainability. This takes many forms, as we roll from one season to the next with variable climatic conditions and a constantly evolving landscape. Scarborough Wine Co has been a winery and vineyard member of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia since 2020 and we’re proud to announce that we are also now certified.

What is Sustainable Winegrowing Australia?

Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is Australia’s national program for grapegrowers and winemakers who are committed to making sustainable wine. An important industry wide initiative that seeks to improve the sustainable footprint of our wines.

The program is a voluntary one, administered by the Australian Wine Research Institute with governance, endorsement and active support from Australian Grape & Wine and Wine Australia.

“These three organisations form a joint steering committee to oversee the program, with agreed activities set out in an Annual Operating Plan. Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is modelled on global best practices and aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with progress towards these monitored annually.”

In Australia, it’s a significant step forward in benchmarking our environmental footprint and enabling continued evolution of sustainable practices. Wine is the only agriculture-based sector to be capturing data on the farm/ in vineyard so we’re incredibly proud to be putting a plan in place and continuing to learn from our peers and making changes across many aspects of our businesses.

As we move forward, this body of rich data will help drive industry decision making and allow us to continue to make improvements to business practices.

As of October 2023, there are more than 1,300 Australian grape and wine businesses who are members, with more than 680 certified members. Other members include brands like Chalmers, Stanton & Killeen, Yalumba, Voyager Estate, Margan, Oliver’s Taranga, Yangarra, Tahbilk, Brokenwood, Leeuwin Estate, Gemtree and Penfolds – just to name a few!

There’s more progress being achieved daily, however some of the key collective outcomes achieved in FY22 include:

  • 75% of Australia’s wine and grape growing regions are represented in Sustainable Winegrowing Australia member base
  • 37% of Australia’s total vineyard area
  • 41% of total production
  • 84% of wineries have taken some action to actively manage water efficiency
  • 100% of members are measuring and reporting scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions
  • 74% of members dedicate land to biodiversity enhancements
  • 84% of wineries contribute to their communities in positive ways.

Want to learn more? You can download the 2022 Impact Report here.

What has Scarborough Wine Co been doing to gain certification?

The process to gain certification is rightly so, a rigorous one. Jerome Scarborough and Liz Riley have led many of the sustainable initiatives we now have in place in our Scarborough vineyards and winery. This project has been a real focus for 2023 and as a family we could not be prouder to be a certified member. We’ll continue to implement ways that we can evolve and improve to ensure a sustainable footprint well into the future. We see the challenge of sustainability as an evolution in our practices, rather than a revolution, every small step towards sustainability is an important one. There’s always something to learn.

Sally Scarborough noted “The entire process of becoming a SWA member and then a certified member has helped Jerome, Liz and I crystalise how we want to be farming into the future. We have a clear vision for the way in which we want to leave the landholdings that we have in the Hunter Valley, long after we are gone. The entire reason that Ian and Merralea began our family business back in the mid 80’s was to provide a sustainable future for our family – the meaning of that may have changed over more recent years, but the ideal remains the same; to care for and nurture the beautiful patches that we are lucky enough to be the stewards of here in the Hunter Valley.”

Whilst the vineyards are often the most visible part of our sustainable footprint, much work has also been done in the Cellar Door, the winery and other parts of our business to improve energy efficiency, water use and recycling. We are using some new and innovative techniques as well as some time-honoured ones.

🌱 Compost to create greater resilience in our soils

🌱 New root stocks and clones that can perform better around variable weather patterns

🌱 Using sunscreen (inert clay) to help protect both the fruit and canopy from sunburn

🌱 Biodiversity plots throughout our vineyards to encourage wildlife corridors as well as beneficial insects, and of course greater biodiversity means happier vineyards.

Along with this SWA certification, Scarborough Wine Co is also a member of EcoVineyards Australia and Hunter Valley Wine Country Landcare Group.


Go Beyond the Wine: Keepers of the Flame Vineyard Tasting

Want to see some of our sustainability initiatives in action? Book in for our Beyond the Wine: Keepers of the Flame tasting. In this immersive experience our staff will take you out into our Gillards Rd vineyard, show you some of the initiatives in action followed by a tasting of our Keepers of the Flame wines. Book now.

🌱  Read more about how we’re making our business more sustainable - /blog/Water-Energy-Waste

🌱 Discover Our Vineyard Ecosystem - /blog/Vineyard-Biodiversity

🌱 Liz Riley explains how to grow grapevines at home - /blog/How-to-grow-grapevines-at-home



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Scarborough Wine Co Gains Sustainable Winegrowing Australia Certification