Fighting climate change is a personal issue for wineries. Grapes are fussy and must be harvested at just the right point for the wine to get the right balance between physiological and phenolic ripeness. However, the unpredictable temperatures, while opening up regions once unfavourable for grapes, have shifted harvest seasons drastically.
Peter Yealands established Yealands Wines in New Zealand in 2008 with a commitment to innovative, land-focused viticulture. This commitment continues on, with the company now aiming to reduce their emissions by 80 per cent come 2045.
A large solar panel installation, three wind turbines and two burners for vine prunings supply a quarter of Yealands’ energy needs. Water comes from the Awatere River and is stored in dams. The winemaker also has Babydoll and Merino sheep to help trim the vines, reducing mowing and spraying.
Free-range chickens deal with pests, inter-row crops and flowers attract pollinators, and some 200,000 native shrubs and flaxes are planted around the property. These improve soil quality while promoting biodiversity by attracting local fauna.
It’s no wonder Yealands undergoes detailed annual carbon auditing and is the first and only Toitu Envirocare zero-carbon certified winery in New Zealand.