Backsberg Estate Cellars, South Africa’s first carbon neutral winery, has once again been recognised for its leading role in adapting to cellar and farming practices that are environmentally friendly by winning the Mail and Guardian Greening the Future award in the Agricultural category. These annual awards honour the achievements of companies and organisations throughout South Africa that work to ensure a better environmental future for our children and the planet. In 2008 Backsberg won the Greening the Future award in the category of Energy Efficiency and Carbon Management.

According to Backsberg CEO John Spiers, the Back family – owners of Backsberg – have been producing quality wine for just short of a hundred years. “This year our wines have again received numerous awards, including one of only two Great Gold medals to be awarded to South African wines by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles,” he says. “On Saturday our John Martin Sauvignon Blanc was awarded a gold medal at the Michelangelo International Wine Show. However, to be a leading international wine producer one has to look further than gold medals and accolades. Sustainability and farming in harmony with the environment are becoming increasingly important – not only for marketing your wines, but also to ensure that future generations will also have access to untarnished vineyards and soils in harmony with the environment.

backsberg_lyre_vines“The Back family has been committed to this before ‘green’ and ‘carbon footprint’ were buzz-words,” says Spiers. “For a number of years, care for the environment has become a fundamental part of the farming and production process on Backsberg. Our actions have been recognised with this ‘green’ award, which proudly sits next to our ‘gold’ awards!”

In 2006 Backsberg became the first winery in South Africa and the third in the world to become Carbon Neutral. It holds Champion status in terms of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative for the wine growing regions of South Africa and has set aside 10% of its land for conservation. Backsberg offsets its carbon emissions for the year through an annual greening program, which is supported by world renowned organisation Food and Trees for Africa. The aim of the programme is to continue reducing carbon emissions wherever possible, and to ultimately only use “green” energy.

Backsberg sells wine in 27 countries around the world and also mitigates for carbon emissions resulting from the transport to those countries.

For more information, please contact John Spiers on (021) 875 5141 or email

%d bloggers like this: