Can a Zero Carbon Wine Come from New Zealand? Wines Says Yes


Being a greener business can take many shapes and levels of complexity, but sometimes it’s the obvious that can make a substantial impact. Take Wines: Among its many sustainability minded touches is intentionally having longer rows in the vineyard. Why? That means less turns for the tractors, which results in decreased fuel consumption.

But how does a winery from New Zealand manage to be the world’s first carboNZero certified winery in the world?

Yes for most destinations, that’s a long way to ship wine, and no it doesn’t mean Wines produce no carbon emissions. Nearly any activity will at some point produce emissions. So what do’s claims actually mean?

It means Wines started by measuring its impact as a baseline. Then it set about finding ways to reduce its energy use and seek out energy efficient alternatives. Then what it couldn’t (yet) reduce it offset via a verified scheme. Aware that this could sound like greenwashing, it answers this question head on.

How has Wines been reducing its impact?

Heat and water get reused in different areas of production. Its “cold cellar” system enables the units to pull cold air from the outside, reducing the need for refrigeration/air conditioning on the inside. Their buildings are temperature isolated via insulation, reducing the need to raise and lower the temperature in other parts of the building. The company eschews paper labels and the adhesives that come with them in favor of organic ink based screen print labels directly on the bottles. The bottles themselves consist of lightweight and recycled glass. Given how much a typical wine bottle weighs, this change alone makes a huge difference in the product’s carbon footprint.

Another thing Wines has going for it is its founders: Two easy-on-the-eyes sisters, with a clear history with and passion for wine and sustainability. Putting a human presence front and center in their marketing, Twitter, Facebook and other online points of contact with customers is a smart way to literally personalize the brand, draw attention and then invite further inquiry.

They are more then pretty faces, as this Q&A with Andrea McBride about world water issues demonstrates.

Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.

Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing. || ==> For more, see

13 responses

  1. You should check out Grove Mill ( as well. I have no affiliation with the winery other than having a couple of bottles in my ‘fridge. ;-) But it’s also carboNZero certified and I thought was the first carbon neutral winery. Either way, it’s a beautiful winery that I fell in love with on a trip to New Zealand in 2008. Lots of great stuff coming out of NZ.

  2. I ordered a few cases from and had them shipped for Christmas gifts. The delivery was flawless. The “presentation” when opening the case is marvelous and very unique. Feedback was excellent and my friends are now reordering directly. Excellent Reisling!

  3. Hi Dana & Stuntz,
    Just wanted to clarify with you… and Grove Mill are both made in the same facility – the first carboNZero winery in the world. This is made possible by our partnership with the NZWC.

    You can read more about us and the partnership here:

    Thanks for your interest and support for New Zealand
    the team

    1. Hi Stuntz…The New Zealand Wine Company puts out 4 brands that are certified CarboNZero and both Grove Mill and fall under their umbrella (although is not yet listed on their site) you can read more here:
      I think all of these brands are made in the same CarboNZero facility (first one)

  4. Nice article about the CarboNZero certified program from New Zealand. That country has been on forefront of sustainable wine growing and production practices in the world and certification.

    It is great to see clarify that their wine brand is produced *at* the NZWC, instead of what is inferred by the statement. Brava Ladies!

    Due diligence is part of preventing green washing that makes consumers cynical.

    My disclosure is that I have worked with sustainability claims/certification/branding from wine making regions around the world for importing into the Canadian market but I am not affiliated with any winery at the moment.

    1. Thank you for this message Irene! Glad to clear up any misinterpretation…we are proud that our wines are certified CarboNZero with the partnership of NZWC (and certainly not trying to steal anyone else’s thunder!)
      All the best,
      The team

  5. Bur isn’t the winery called Grove Mill? Therefore the world’s first carbon zero winery is Grove Mill and Eco Love is made at the Grove Mil, the world’s first carbon zero winery?

    1. Stuntz – I agree that some rewording of that statement would help clarification.

      FYI – from NZWC’s disclosure for the CarboNZero certification –
      “The New Zealand Wine Company (NZWC) is an integrated wine company involved in growing grapes, winemaking, bottling, and marketing and sales of premium quality wines in New Zealand and to export markets under a number of owned and contracted brands; the most notable of these brands are Grove Mill, Sanctuary and Frog Haven.

      The following summary of our carboNZero certification is for The New Zealand Wine Company organisation and additional lifecycle emissions of selected wine products….under the Grove Mill, Sanctuary, Frog Haven, Origin, Southern White brands,
      Blackbirch and Wines.”

    2. Hi Stuntz, yes you are correct…the facility is called Grove Mill but there are other brands housed within the same facility including …all put out by NZWC

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