Overhead image of McLaren Vale landscape
Gemtree Vineyard

Two McLaren Vale wineries have picked up wins at the Organic Annual Industry Awards, hosted by Australian Organic Limited (AOL).

Now in its seventh year, the awards celebrate excellence in organics across a number of categories, with this year’s winners representing wine, fresh produce, pantry items, honey, tea, meat, and baby food products.

One of the winemakers that was recognised in this year’s virtual awards ceremony was Angove Family Winemakers, which was awarded the Exporter of the Year award. Angove’s Joint Managing Director, Richard Angove, explained that 2021 was the 15th year of the winemakers producing wines to organic certification.

He said: “We were thrilled to win this award. We feel very rewarded knowing that the hard work our entire team puts in is being recognized by other leaders in the organic industry.”

He believes that Angove’s Nanya Vineyard, which covers 300-hectares and is now entirely farmed organically, is “one of the most significant organic vineyards in the world.”

Angove is one of few wineries in the world to meet organic specifications for Australia, the US, Canada, the EU and China – nearly every major global market.

As Angove said, the winery wants to communicate the value of organic producing to the wider industry.

“We want to keep sending out the message that the organic industry is more sustainable, better for the environment and has fewer inputs and processes,” he said.

The other winemaker recognised in the awards was Gemtree Wines. Chief Viticulturalist and Co-owner, Melissa Brown, won the inaugural ‘Woman in Organic’ award, which recognised the oustanding leadership of women in the organic wine sector for the first time.

Brown said: “It is a great honour to win this Award as we highlight the entire organic industry, which we are really proud to be a part of.”

Brown’s commitment to organic produce is part of a wider policy of sustainability at Gemtree, as she explains: “We recycle everything we can, from every aspect of the business. Even our wine labels are made from sugar cane waste.”

“Each of the visitor experiences we offer at the vineyard has a connection to sustainability and aims to educate our guests on what we have learned through sustainable, organic and biodynamic farming while they enjoy the surroundings, delicious local food and our wines.”

It was a good night in general for Gemtree Wines and Angove Family Winemakers, as both were also named as finalists in the Business of the Year award.

AOL’s CEO, Niki Ford, was impressed by the contribution that both Gemtree and Angove had made, not only to the organic category, but to the Australian wine industry.

“Both Angove Family Winemakers and Gemtree Wines are producing high-quality, certified organic wines and are deeply committed to the certified organic sector,” said Ford.

“Australia’s certified organic premium wines are also highly sought after around the world with organic wines now making up 12 per cent of the nation’s wine exports.”

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