Home' Hospitality Business : HB MAY 2017 Contents KEY FOCUS AREAS
According to Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand there are
a number of key focus areas for vineyards striving towards
Biodiversity – Enhancing biodiversity to biologically control pests,
diseases and weeds, and improve soil quality.
By-products - Reduce, reuse and recycle waste from vineyard and
winery operations, such as vine prunings, grape stalks and skins
Water - Optimising water use to protect the purity of waterways
and ensure the supply remains clean and sustainable in the future.
People – Offering education and training to staff on how to
reduce costs and wastage and increase efficiency and good
Energy – Using energy-saving initiatives such as hydro-electric
energy, solar, wind and geothermal generation.
Pest and disease management – Controlling pests and disease
cost-effectively and with the lowest possible impact on people,
property and the environment.
Soil - Preserving and enhancing the soil in vineyards.
• 99% of vineyards used non-chemical controls to manage pests
• 99% of wineries measured and monitored electricity and fuel use.
• 99% of wineries optimised water conservation and limited
volumes to the waste system.
We also actively encourage biodiversity and have planted over
200,000 native shrubs and plants and created 25 wetlands around our
Seaview Vineyard. As a result, many native birds and the protected
Monarch butterfly have made Yealands their home.
To reduce emissions and cut down on the use of pesticides on
the vineyard, we use chickens as a natural form of insect control and
miniature Babydoll sheep and Kunekune pigs to keep our vine rows tidy.
We also bale and bur n our vine prunings in specially built bur ners
which are used to heat water for the winer y and eliminate over 180
tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. We have lots of small
initiatives that together make quite a big difference.
WHY IS SUSTAINABLE WINEGROWING IMPORTANT
IN NEW ZEALAND?
It’s not just important in New Zealand, I’d say it’s important everywhere.
When I was younger I didn’t think about preserving our environment
in the way I do now. It was seeing this beautiful land in the Awatere
Valley where our vineyard is based that really made me understand the
importance of preserving what we have, not just for us, but for everyone
who comes after us. I started Yealands with a deter mination to do it in
the most sustainable way possible. And you can never sit back and say
you’re done with something like sustainability, it’s a constant process,
we’re always working on something new.
HOW CAN SUSTAINABILITY AFFECT THE WINES THAT ARE
We’ve found that sustainability has only improved the quality of our
wines. We allow the land to talk for itself, we treat it well and it helps
us grow some fantastic grapes, some of the best in New Zealand.We’ve
always grown our grapes sustainability and have some great accolades to
show how this has resulted in top quality wines.
HOW CAN NEW OR SMALL WINERIES TAKE THE FIRST STEP
There are some fantastic gover ning bodies out there who can keep
a winery on track and guide them through the process of becoming
carbon neutral certified. But from my point of view, it’s about thinking
creatively and being innovative. Don’t follow the crowd, look for new
ways of doing things that have less of an impact on the land and the
environment. It takes commitment but, as I said, there are lots of people
out there now to help companies keep on track.
HOW CAN SUSTAINABLE WINEMAKING PRACTICES POSITIVELY OR
NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE COST OF WINE FOR THE CONSUMER?
We’ve been making our wines sustainability since the beginning, so
for the consumer there is no added cost. Our focus has always been on
quality as well as sustainability. Great tasting wines that don’t cost the
earth and don’t cost a fortune!
WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE
WINEGROWING IN NEW ZEALAND?
I only see it growing.As technology and knowledge improves so will
solutions to the bigger problems associated with growing wine grapes on
any kind of scale. n
Yealands Estate Seaview Winery has
New Zealand’s largest solar panel array on its roof
Yealands is the only winery in
New Zealand to bale vine prunnings
“To New Zealand wineries and grape
growers, sustainability means
delivering excellent wine to consumers
in a way that enables the natural
environment, the businesses and the
communities involved, to thrive.”
Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand
Hospitality BUSINESS | May 2017 | 55
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