Explore Yealands Estate by navigating through live video feeds, time lapse videos and real-time climate data captured at our Seaview Vineyard and Winery in Marlborough, New Zealand. Immerse yourself into our world, raise a glass and tag your photos with #yealandslive on our social media wall and bookmark our events calendar, we’d love to say hello!
Dedicated Land Care
At Yealands, we aim to leave the land better than we found it. We achieve this through a wide range of initiatives and on-going projects including developing wetlands, making our own special compost and using natural pest control measures in our vineyard.
Native flora and fauna
We work almost as hard on the areas surrounding our vineyard blocks as we do on the vines themselves. To promote biodiversity, we have planted more than 200,000 native shrubs and flaxes, and created 25 wetlands at our Seaview Vineyard in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough.
As a result, many native birds now make Yealands their home. If you walk around the vineyard, you’re likely to spot Royal Spoonbills, Black Swans, Teal Ducks, White Herons, Banded Dotterels, Pied Silts, Bellbirds, Paradise Ducks, Fantails and Tuis!
Yealands have also participated in a breeding programme on-site for the near endangered Falcon to assist in bringing this native bird back from near extinction.
Peter’s Special Brew Compost
We use what would otherwise be landfill waste from other industries to produce 50,000 tonnes of compost per year. Our special brew contains bark, mussel shells, seaweed, lime, cattle paunch, as well as grape marc from the Yealands Estate and other Marlborough wineries.
This is a win/win situation for us. We reduce the amount of waste that gets sent to landfills and in return we can create our compost which improves soil fertility and water retention on our Seaview Vineyard. This reduces the need for other fertilisers, which is better for the environment. It also contains gelatin which is high in selenium, an element in the soil that is in short supply in parts of New Zealand.
We are developing a bio-char unit to covert vine prunings and grape marc into a high carbon residue that can store greenhouse gases in the ground for centuries. It also lowers the soil’s acidity, facilitating water and nutrient retention. Bio-char is one of the latest additions to Pete’s special brew compost.
NATURAL PEST CONTROL
We have roughly 100 free range chickens that call Yealands Estate their home. Most of these are ex-battery hens that we have adopted. Not only do they provide us with fresh eggs, they also act as a natural form of pest control which reduces the need to use pesticides in the vineyard. Their fresh eggs are used when fining some of our red wines - any excess are shared among staff and donated to the local food kitchen.
On our Yealands Estate vineyard we are trialling the use of endophytic grass between the vines, a New Zealand first, to naturally reduce grass grub in soil. We currently have 40 hectares planted. The grass is similar to that used at airports to minimise insects, which lessens the appeal for birds. The grass releases a chemical called loline, which interferes with the grass grub lifecycle.
Between some of our vines, our vineyard team also plant lupins, buckwheat, mustard and phacelia. This increases diversity, attracts beneficial predatory insects and when mature it can be mulched back in to the soil. The broken down organic matter helps to provide optimal soil conditions.
New Zealand is home to a large grasshopper-like insect called the Weta. In vineyards they can cause a lot of damage by eating the fresh grape buds. The use of ‘sleeves’ wrapped around each vine to stops wetas from crawling up and eating buds and emerging vine leaves. This way we can protect our vine growth without having to spray with pesticides.
We have installed solar-powered lighting in the wetlands of our Yealands Estate vineyard to attract the grass grub beetles away from the vines, where they effectively become a food source for the fish. Grass grub beetles damage the vines by defoliating the vine shoots and leaves, so this practice again reduces the need of chemical pesticide.
MUSIC TO THE VINES
During sunlight hours, we use solar power to play classical music to the vines at our Seaview Vineyard in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough. We like the music in the vineyard and believe it promotes vine health. It’s definitely got our vineyard chickens that are close to the music laying bigger eggs!
YEALANDS ESTATE COMMUNITY GARDEN
The grounds team do a great job looking after our community garden. It always contains a good mix of vegetables including, but not limited to broccoli, cabbages, lettuces, spinach and potatoes. All produce is enjoyed by Yealands staff and the local food kitchen.