Award-winning wine in partnership with nature

Sustainability

Award-winning wine in partnership with nature

Sustainability has never been something we’ve done by half. It's at the core of everything we do and it's something that we work at every day. We're always trialing new sustainability initiatives at Yealands Estate both in the vineyard and at the winery, but we already have plenty in place. Take a look below to see what makes us one of the world's most sustainable wineries.

Emission Reduction

Yealands' ultimate goal is to generate enough energy to become self-sufficient, and ideally supply any surplus back to the national grid. Our extensive range of energy efficient initiatives to reduce emissions include renewable energy, fuel reduction, using green SMART technology and environmentally friendly packaging.

Solar Power

Harnessing the sun's energy

The sun doesn’t only boost the flavour development in our grapes – it gives us power too. The northern side of the Yealands Estate winery roof in the Awatere Valley is home to New Zealand’s largest solar panel installation. It produces more than half a million kW hours per year – enough to power 86 average New Zealand households! Find our more about how we harness the sun's energy here:


Vine Energy

Prunings into power

At Yealands Estate, during winter, we bale our vine prunings to be burned for energy in two specially installed burners in the winery. Each bale weighs around 200kg and when burned provides the equivalent heat of approximately 60Kg of LPG. At full capacity our burners can produce 500kW of energy, enough to keep the average Kiwi household going for three weeks! We're the only New Zealand winery to use such burners as an energy source. Approximately 10% of all our grapevine prunings are baled and then seasoned for up to 6 months, to ensure they burn cleanly. This process eliminates over 180 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Miniature helpers

Lawnmowers you can pat

We have introduced Babydoll sheep and Kunekune pigs to graze our vine rows. How do we prevent them from eating our grapes? Easy, our Kunekunes and miniature Babydoll sheep are too small to reach! This allows us to graze them within the vines year-round, not just in the cooler winter months. By using these miniature vineyard helpers, we don't need to mow with tractors as often, which reduces our use of fossil fuels and our carbon emissions. They also provide us with a handy dose of natural fertiliser!

Wind Power

The power of sea breezes

We’re always searching for more sources of renewable energy, so we can ultimately generate enough energy to become totally self-sufficient. As well as using solar power from the rooftop of our winery, we’re also putting the wind to good use. Two traditional wind turbines and a horizontal axis wind turbine on our estate in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough, generate extra power for use in the winery. These turbines are capable of producing 48,000 kWh of energy annually.

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.

Chicken insect control

Free eggs are a bonus

We have roughly 100 free range chickens that call Yealands Estate their home. Most of these are ex-battery hens that we’ve adopted. Not only do they act as a natural form of pest control, reducing the need to use pesticides, they also provide some pretty delicious free-range eggs! Their fresh eggs are shared among staff and donated to the local food kitchen.

Music to the vines

Good vibrations

During sunlight hours, we use solar power to play classical music to the vines. The music is to help improve vine health but it also keeps us happy when we’re out and about on the vineyard. Studies have shown that the vines respond positively to the vibrations and sound waves, but that's not the only effect the music seems to have. Our own studies have shown an unusual effect on our vineyard chickens, with those closest to the music laying eggs that are around 16% bigger than the chickens furthest from the music.

Wetlands

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!

Pete's Special Brew

Mussel shells & seaweed

Our special brew contains bark, mussel shells, seaweed, lime, cattle paunch, as well as grape marc from the Yealands Estate and other Marlborough wineries. By doing this we reduce the amount of waste that gets sent to landfills and in return we can create 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.

Other Sustainability Initiatives

“There is something joyous about butterflies, and when you learn more about them, you can get pretty passionate about helping them survive and flourish.”

Peter Yealands

NZ'S FIRST BUTTERFLY FRIENDLY ORGANISATION

Nestled into Yealands’ vast Seaview vineyard in Marlborough is ‘Butterfly Gully’ which, for several years, has been planted in over 200 swan plants to attract monarch butterflies. Over Autumn the gully which is sunny and well protected from the wind is aflutter with spectacular orange wings. While swan plants host monarch caterpillars from egg to chrysalis, the bright wild flowers between the rows of vines provide nectar for the adult butterflies.

Monarch Butterflies

The butterflies are to pollinate our vines, making us smile is a bonus.

ECO-FRIENDLY PACKAGING

Lightweight, shatterproof and 100% recyclable.

IDEAL FOR THE OUTDOORS

Our lightweight, shatterproof wine bottles are ideal for the outdoors. They are 100% recyclable, have a 54% smaller carbon footprint and are 89% lighter than standard glass bottles. What's more, they contain the same award-winning wines!

"We want to craft great tasting wines which don't cost the earth."

Jeff Fyfe - Chief Winemaker

"In 5 years the whole vineyard will be planted in our natural, pest-deterring grass."

Gareth Goodsir - Vineyard Manager

Successful Vineyard Trials

On our Yealands Estate vineyard we have been successfully trialling the use of endophytic grass between the vines to naturally reduce grass grub in the soil. We are the first in New Zealand to do this and currently have 35% of our property planted with this grass. In 5 years the whole vineyard will have it. 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.

Insect Control

Using grass to control pests, naturally

SUSTAINABILITY ACCREDITATION

CARBONZERO

We are proudly the first winery in the world to be accredited carboNZerocertTM since inception.  What does this mean?  It’s an accreditation overseen by Landcare New Zealand that measures the exact carbon footprint for our Yealands Family Wines product lifecycle from “cradle to grave”.  Read more about carboNZerocertTM accreditation here.

Sustainable Winegrowers New Zealand

All of our Yealands Estate vineyards are also fully accredited through the Sustainable Winegrowers New Zealand (SWNZ) programme.  Established in 1994, SWNZ is a New Zealand wine industry sustainability certification programme. Our Yealands Family Wines winery, vineyards and growers are accredited under the scheme.  Read more about Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand.

ISO14001

Our other environmental auditing initiatives include ISO14001, an environmental management systems accreditation, providing a measurable and accountable method for review and improvement of our sustainability practices. 

Sustainability Awards

Independent sustainability awards give us the opportunity to see how our sustainability practices stack up internationally, and keeps our ongoing mission to be the most sustainable winery in the world at the forefront of everything we do.

Botanical Research Institute of Texas

Platinum Medal

International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing 2017

Drinks Business Green Awards UK

Runner-Up

Renewable Energy Implementation Awards 2016

The Green World Awards

Silver Medal

Sustainability Award 2015

Green Apple Environment Awards

Supreme World Champion

Environmental Best Practice Award 2014

Fairfax Sustainable 60 Awards

Winner

Overall Large Business & Environment Category 2014

Drinks Business Green Awards UK

International Winner

Green Company of the Year 2014

NZI Sustainable Business Awards

Overall Winner

Greatest Contribution to a Sustainable New Zealand 2014

GREEN IDEA SUBMISSION

If you have an idea for a new sustainability initiative we’d love to hear from you.