Being sustainable is what Greystone Wines is all about.
It has been crowned the Sustainable Winery of the Year Award at The NZ Organic Wine Awards, winning five gold medals under its Greystone and Muddy Water brands.
The Waipara winery earned its organic certification in 2016, the same year it won the Awards’ Organic Vineyard of the Year award, and the hard work has not stopped.
At the cellar door the menu changes weekly and food is foraged or sourced locally, there are water refills with RefillNZ, and they use Smartass-tree free toilet paper.
The Greystone website incorporates CarbonClick to offset the carbon footprint of the wine purchased.
The vineyard is fully certified organic, and Viticulturist Mike Saunders says restricting water use and using technology to measure soil water levels, therefore only applying the amount of irrigation the vines need, is just one part of their strong focus on organic and sustainable methods.
“We rely on a proactive, cultural approach to disease management, using natures best two fungicides; sunlight and air to help us control disease. We manage our bud numbers at pruning, shoot thin early and leaf pluck extensively to open the canopy up, reduce density and allow sunlight and air in to dry the canopy and kill off any fungal diseases.”
He said there is a focus on minimising cultivation which means less carbon, and utilising inter-row grass and crops encourages better vine health and less irrigation requirements.
“We reduce water consumption short term to encourage the vine roots to grow deeper into the soil profile to find water themselves, therefore becoming more resilient. When we do irrigate, we water for longer, but do so less often, so the water goes deep and the vine roots follow it.”
Investing in new technology such as Fendt Vario transmission tractors means they use only 30% to 50% of the diesel they used to use, restricting usage of fossil fuels.