The Ivy Club seemed an apt location for the Drinks Business Green Awards 2013. Well, it was when my impression of the Ivy was a restaurant covered in ivy. I soon realised however, that my normal office attire put me well into the “under-dressed” category as we proceeded up the swanky glass staircase and got ourselves lost in the depths of the stained glass-clad club before locating the top floor bar where the Awards were being presented.
Yealands, our top sustainable producer, had been nominated for two awards (The Drinks Business Green Award – Green Company of the Year and the Drinks Business Sustainability Award). Thus I found myself at the Ivy Club with Giles James, Yealands’ Business Development Manager, and Ryan Hanson, River Cottage’s Front of House Manager (both pictured below) awaiting the results with perhaps not enough apprehension...
Yealands’ awards list is already rather extensive including “Producers of the World’s best Sauvignon Blanc” from IWC (International Wine Challenge) and winner of the International Green Awards 2012 so without getting too confident, we were crossing fingers for perhaps one of the two nominations. Nevertheless, as the awards rolled out, it became clear that we had been pipped to the post for both the nominations firstly by Miguel Torres for Green Company of the Year and then by Esporão for the Sustainability Award.
In the end, we decided not to be too disheartened by the results. Our competitors were worthy; working on a smaller scale can often throw up greater challenges in becoming entirely sustainable and their effort was well worth the awards. Yealands, carbon neutral from day one of its existence, has helped pave the way for green wineries worldwide so it’s only right that those who now follow in their footsteps deserve some of the credit.
The whole experience drew me to the conclusion that the phrase “It’s not the winning, but the taking part that counts” is perhaps at its most relevant when it comes to being green. So I walked all the way to Victoria instead of getting a taxi.