The inaugural Nedbank Green Wine Awards were announced today at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town. The Nedbank Green Wine Awards have come about due to the increased popularity and consumer interest in this category. Nedbank was the natural partner for the awards due to their ongoing involvement with conservation projects. Their support for the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative through the Green Trust has been in effect since the organizations inception in 2004. The Green Wine Awards are two pronged: Best Wine from Organically Grown Grapes, and Best Environmental Practices Award. Best Wine from Organically Grown Grapes Producers were asked to submit wines made from organically grown grapes together with valid organic certification. The wines were divided into categories according to grape variety or style and tasted blind (labels un-sighted) by a five-person panel appointed by WINE magazine. One white and one red emerged a clear step above the competition, these being Lazanou Organic Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2008 and Laibach The Ladybird Red 2007 respectively. The Lazanou Organic Vineyards Chenin Blanc was declared the overall winner due to it’s higher arithmetic score. Best Environmental Practices Award The aim of incorporating a second category into the Nedbank Green Wine Awards was to recognize the effort being made amongst South African wineries to farm with a view to long term environmental sustainability. Each producer was asked to provide comprehensive details on farming practices which were then judged according to guidelines set out by the Integrated Production of Wine (South Africa’s internationally recognized voluntary sustainability scheme established in 1998) and the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative. The judges were Inge Kotzé, project coordinator for the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative, Tom McLaughlin, good business journey specialist at Woolworths, and Lourens van Schoor, a registered soil and environmental scientist and director of environmental auditing firm Enviroscientific. The winner was Oak Valley in Elgin which will receive an IPW audit worth R11 000 sponsored by Enviroscientific for both farm and cellar. The runner up was Waverly Hills.