This talk of sustainable wine growing, what is it? While it is nothing new, it is an important topic that is simply not talked about enough. That is, unless you work at Fernz wine. The New Zealand winery has embraced this green concept of sustainable growing and committed to Mother Earth in many different ways. It starts with education and the decision to take action.
1. What is sustainable wine growing?
Sustainable winegrowing to us means providing a “best practices” for the environment in the vineyards and the winery. This means keeping New Zealand clean and green by protecting the environmental integrity of our wine production
2. How are you reducing the carbon footprint?
We have a variety of programs implemented to reduce our carbon footprint. The winery building is fully insulated to minimize the amount of energy needed to keep the temperature comfortable and constant. All plastic waste products consumed on site by the winery are recycled. All marc used in our presses leaves the vineyards within 30 minutes of being emptied. The marc (pomace) is distributed down the middle of the rows and not under the vines, which discourages the roots from traveling up to the surface. This method significantly helps increase the organic matter and moisture retention of the vineyards, reducing a demand for irrigation.
The result: much healthier vines … which also makes for better wine! We say no to helicopters. Helicopters produce harmful emissions that pollute the air. Instead of using them to help protect our vines from frost protection, we have installed 12 new wind machines that assist in keeping our vines frost free, without contaminating the air.
3. What challenges do you face?
There are so many different ways to be sustainable or “Go Green.” We do our best to accommodate for the different ways which include biodiversity, soil, water, energy, chemicals, byproducts and business practices.
4. What made you decide to do this?
We are committed to protecting the places that make our famous wines, and to ensure that our activities lead to continually improving economic, environmental and social outcomes. Healthy land lends itself to healthy vines which produce the best grapes which, ultimately, making the best wine!
5. What does being a New Zealand Sustainable Winegrower mean?
The logo is a symbol that the wine we make comes from 100% certified grapes in fully certified winemaking facilities and certification must be through an independently audited program — either Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand or one of the recognized organic or biodynamic certifications.