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Award-winning wine in partnership with nature

Sustainability

Award-winning wine in partnership with nature

Sustainability is 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 both in the vineyard and at the winery, but we already have plenty in place. Take a look below to see what we are doing.

Emission Reduction

As New Zealand's only Toitū carbonzero certified winery since inception, we are committed to ongoing emissions reduction. Yealands' ultimate goal is to generate enough energy to become self-sufficient. While we generate our own renewable energy, we measure all of our carbon emissions with from tractors in the vineyard to the packaging and shipment of our wines and set targets and strategies to reduce these emissions.

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 one of New Zealand’s largest solar panel installations. It produces more than half a million kW hours per year – enough to power 70 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 100kg and when burned provides the equivalent heat of approximately 30Kg 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 161 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Miniature helpers

Lawnmowers you can pat

We have introduced Babydoll sheep to graze our vine rows. Being smaller than the average sheep, the Babydolls were originally introduced to graze amongst the vines year-round. Over the winter months, the sheep population is boosted by a large flock of Merino sheep, brought in to eat the grass and weeds down. 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.

SUSTAINABILITY ACCREDITATION

CARBONZERO

We are proud to have been the first winery in the world to be Toitū carbonzero certified, from inception. What does this mean? We have been certified since 2008 through the program which is overseen by Toitū Envirocare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, a government-owned Crown Research Institute. We measure the carbon footprint for our organisation and the entire lifecycle footprint of our Yealands products, any unavoidable emissions are offset through the purchase of verified offsets. We are audited annually and must achieve emissions reduction over time to maintain our certification.

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. 

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. 

Dedicated Land Care

At Yealands, we aim to leave the land better than we found it. We are working on a range of on-going projects to drive reduce our carbon emissions in all areas and enhance the natural environment both within our boundaries and our wider community.

Chicken insect control

Free eggs are a bonus

We have roughly 100 free range chickens that call Yealands Estate their home. Many of these are ex-battery hens that we’ve adopted. They were introduced originally as a natural form of pest control, but they also provide some pretty delicious free-range eggs! Their fresh eggs are shared among staff and donated to the local community kitchen.

Music to the vines

Good vibrations

During sunlight hours, we use solar power to play classical music to the vines. 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. Click below to listen to our playlist at home.


Biodiversity

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 on our property, we have planted more than 200,000 native shrubs and flaxes and are continually restoring vegetation to areas of our property that are not planted in vines. By restoring native vegetation we are helping to maintain habitat and a food source for our native insect and bird species. Plants also help increase soil quality by sequestering carbon, aerating the soil and reducing runoff and erosion to waterways. Increased soil carbon, (as soil organic matter) can be thought of as the “glue” that sticks soil particles together, creating and maintaining soil structure. If soil organic matter declines, soil quality declines.

Inter row planting

Flower power

We plant crops and flowering species between the vine rows to attract beneficial insects. We sow peas, beans and oats every second row with flowering Buckwheat and Phacelia every 10th row.

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

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR WINES


LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR STORY


GREEN IDEA SUBMISSION

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

The Marlborough Sustainability Initiative

Learn more and submit your application.