We are proud to be long term members of Sustainable Wine New Zealand (SWNZ), the world leading wine industry sustainably programme, we successfully complete audits and benchmarking every year.
SWNZ evolved from an earlier programme to reduce chemical use in vineyards and New Zealand is a world leader. We now follow a nil residue spray programme, and have markedly reduced the use of systemic fungicides, herbicides and insecticides.
The programme focusses on all aspects of sustainability and encourages constant improvement, over time we have initiated many improvements in our processes and are doing well compared to the industry average on many measurable indices.
The big areas are energy and water use. Power saving initiatives in the winery now see us now consistently below the average in power use for our winery size. Techniques such as such as floatation for juice clarification that uses less electricity than cold settling and cold stabilising most white wine in winter to use ambient temperature to increase efficiency.
Water use has been markedly reduced to below the industry average for our winery size. Methods include staff training, water saving nozzles, wash recipes and re using cleaning water where possible, reusing tanks and barrels immediately, where possible, to minimise cleaning passes.
We have increased our biodiversity enhancement and waterway protection for the vineyard by removing livestock and riparian planting of native species.
A big focus for SWNZ at the moment is soil health and we are using techniques such as side throw mowing, mulching, inter row planting, moving away from a bare earth under vine strip. Spreading compost and manure. All these techniques build soil fertility and the ability for soil to sequester carbon, and our regular soil tests reflect healthy soil which we are really proud of. All these efforts in the vineyard have translated into fantastic quality fruit which is a winemakers dream.
On the packaging side we use lightweight glass for our main ranges sourced from the New Zealand OI glass factory in Auckland, who recycles most of the glass from the North Island, considerably reducing the total Carbon cost. We also use NZ cardboard which also has a significant recycled component for boxes and dividers.
We have reduced our waste stream considerably through landfill diversion, recycling and re-use, of such products as plastic pallet wrap, cardboard, paper, glass, caps, pallets, posts and nets.
Sustainability for us is an everyday thing. We don’t rest of our laurels of annual accreditation checks but work everyday to make sure we are looking after our environment to ensure we preserve the quality of our natural resources for years to come.