Crittenden Estate of Australia Wins Top Honors in 2020 BRIT/FIVS International Sustainable Winegrowing Competition

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The Botanical Research Institute of Texas and FIVS announce the results of their 2020 International Sustainable Winegrowing Competition. Medalists come from Australia, Chile, Portugal and the United States. Jackson Family Wines receives special platinum multi-brand sustainable winegrowing award.

The Botanical Research Institute of Texas and FIVS International Sustainable Winegrowing Competition

“A big round of applause goes to all of our 2020 winners,” says Greg Hodson, President, FIVS. “From their sustainable programs in the field to their progressive workforce and community programs, to being good leaders and stewards within the global wine industry, we congratulate their achievements.”

The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) in partnership with FIVS, a global public policy federation serving the wine, spirits, and beer sectors, are pleased to announce the winners of their 2020 International Sustainable Winegrowing Competition. Topping this year’s competition is Crittenden Estate of Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia, based on the winery’s on-going programs addressing the three elements of sustainability - environmental, economic, and social – as well as its wine’s flavor.

Founded in 1982 by Garry Crittenden, Crittenden Estate farms 27 acres in Dromana and is proud of its multi-generational family farm commitment to preserving the land while producing high-quality wine.

Among Crittenden’s many sustainable accolades are abandoning the use of chemicals in the vineyard for an innovative program of inter-row cover crops and soil cultivation; a twelve-month composting program to maintain soil health; introducing bees to the property to fertilize desirable fruit trees and supporting a diverse agricultural population of plants and insects while combating wasp species; reducing energy costs by sixty percent cost with the installation of solar panels; and reclaiming and reusing water through Crittenden’s water treatment plant.

The awarded wine was Crittenden Estate’s Cri De Coeur 2017 Pinot Noir, a new, premium wine that showcases Crittenden’s viticulture and winemaking efforts.

“The Crittenden family has taken great pride in working their land for two generations and in that time their wines have won the accolades of Australia’s food and wine critics,” said Dr. Ed Schneider, BRIT's president and executive director. “The combination of sustainable programs with the family’s love of the land has produced a wine that’s truly outstanding.”

“To win such a prestigious international award, particularly given the caliber of our fellow entrants is very humbling for us,” said Rollo Crittenden, second generation winemaker at Crittenden Estate. “We’re passionate about our sustainability and regenerative programmes and delighted that they have been recognised in this way by BRIT/FIVS. There is no doubt these efforts contribute directly to an increase in the quality of wine we produce, and we will continue to strive further on both our land care and wine advances over the generations to come.”

Additional BRIT/FIVS sustainable awards went to:

Gold Medals

  • Vina Cono Sur, Santiago, Chile. Submitted Cono Sur Organic Red Blend.
  • C. A. Henschke & Co., Keyneton, South Australia. Submitted Henschke Mount Edelstone 2015.

Silver Medals

  • Herdade dos Grous, Albernoa, Portugal. Submitted Herdade dos Grous Red.
  • Valdivieso, Santiago, Chile. Submitted Valdivieso Eclat Vigno 2010.

Bronze Medals

Platinum Multi-brand Award

“A big round of applause goes to all of our 2020 winners,” says Greg Hodson, President, FIVS. “From their sustainable programs in the field to their progressive workforce and community programs, to being good leaders and stewards within the global wine industry, we congratulate their achievements.”

When entering the competition, wineries provide a self-assessment of their organization's accomplishments in sustainable winegrowing, winemaking, and ecopreneurial/social responsibility practices. They describe their organization's conservation efforts in the field and in their operations; how they have sought to minimize waste, how water is reclaimed, and how the winery extends conservation efforts to its customers and communities. They also are asked to submit a wine sample that best represents their sustainable efforts for a tasting by the judging committee.

Because the BRIT/FIVS award is the only international award of its kind, it is of primary interest to wineries who are taking a leading role in their community/region/country by embracing sustainable practices. Sustainable winegrowing programs are by nature ongoing, so a key component of each program involves its continual improvement process.

Presentation of the BRIT/FIVS glass sculpture award to Crittenden Wines will be made in Fort Worth on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, during BRIT’s Vine to Table award dinner and fundraising event.

The 2021 BRIT/FIVS International Sustainable Winegrowing Competition begins in the summer of 2020. Details of the 2021 competition will be posted on the BRIT web site, http://www.BRIT.org/wineaward and on the FIVS web site, https://www.fivs.org.

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Chris Chilton

Laura Gelezuinas
FIVS
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