Sustainable 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.
Harnessing the power of nature
We look to nature to find cleaner, renewable energy to help run our winery operations, and use the sun, wind and even our own vines to create power. Marlborough has the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand, making solar power a natural choice for us; not only does the sun help ripen our grapes, it helps us power our winery too. What's more, our coastal location means strong offshore winds that are not only beneficial in keeping our vineyard disease and frost free, they are also harnessed and converted into energy by wind turbines located on our estate, generating extra power for use in the winery. We also have a very handy source of power in the form of vine prunings taken from the vineyard at the end of each harvest; these are baled and burned in boilers to heat our water and glycol in the winery. Combined, solar, wind and vines create 25% of our annual energy requirements. Scroll down for more information on how we use our natural resources to keep everything running.
Harnessing the sun
The sun doesn't only boost the flavour development in our grapes, it gives us power too. The northern side of our winery roof in the Awatere Valley is home to over 1,300 solar panels, one of the largest solar panel installations in New Zealand, capturing the plentiful Marlborough sunshine and transforming it into renewable energy to help run our winery operations. We have also introduced an EV charging station to the winery, powered by the solar panels on our roof, for use by staff and visitors.
The solar array on our winery roof provides 15% of the power needed to run our winery. It is capable of generating almost half a million kW hours per year - enough to power 70 average New Zealand households - and offsets 82 tonnes of CO2 annually.
Specially designed burners
Every year after harvest our vines are pruned to get them ready for the following growing season. Up to 10% of our vine prunings are baled like hay and dried, then burnt in specially built burners to create energy for heating water and glycol in the winery. Each bale weights approximately 100 kgs and produces the equivalent heat of approximately 30 kg of LPG. We currently have two burners which are capable of offsetting 161 tonnes of CO2 per year; as a result we displace up to 54,300 kg of LPG. The vine prunings that are not baled are mulched in the vineyard and remain in the vine rows with the aim of helping improve soil structure, retain moisture and sequester carbon. 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.
The power of our offshore winds
Our coastal position provides us with an additional natural energy resource in the form of wind power. Not only do the coastal breezes help keep us disease and frost free, they are also useful in providing additional renewable energy. We have three wind turbines on Yealands Estate, including a single blade prototype. When running at full capacity these turbines provide a little extra energy to help run our winery.
Grape Marc Facility
Our purpose built composting facility was built in time for the 2019 harvest and designed to hold 6,000 tonnes of compost and meet the demands of our winery running at full production capacity. The building is fully roofed to keep the rain off the compost and has drains and storage tanks to collect any runoff, also known as compost tea, which is re-circulated over the top of the compost via sprinklers. These features ensure full control over the composting process before the compost is then spread onto the estate vineyards.
Along with our own grape marc waste, green waste from a local tomato producer and sawdust from a local mill are added to the mix. Our homemade compost is high in organic matter which helps improve soil quality. This benefits soil organisms, vine nutrition, retention of soil moisture and inhibits under vine growth.
Wooden, Steel or Recycled Plastic
Vineyard Post Trials
Every year up to 5% of our vineyard posts are replaced due to breakage. Looking for a more sustainable option we are trialing steel posts and 100% recycled plastic posts in the vineyard with the aim of phasing out treated wooden posts.
Both the metal and the recycled plastic posts are produced in New Zealand. The steel posts are lightweight and fully recyclable and the plastic posts are made from 100% waste plastics, addressing the global plastic waste problem.
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.
Discover the Yealands Estate
Our winery systems work together to ensure we operate at the highest levels of efficiency and sustainability.
For years, the rolling Awatere Valley foothills were regarded as unsuitable for grape growing. Falling in love with the land, we thought differently.learn more
Without this passionate bunch of beautiful people, our wines wouldn't be much more than grapes on vines.learn more
When we opened our winery doors on 08.08.08 our vision was to become one of the world’s most sustainable wine producers, determined that the only way to craft truly beautiful wines was in partnership with nature.Our story