At Howard Park our success depends entirely on the quality of our fruit. We have patiently developed our vineyards over the past 30 years, with each site specifically chosen to maximise the quality of grape varieties planted there.
Our viticulture philosophy is one of continual improvement, excellence and innovation. Each vineyard is diligently managed and viewed as individual sites and blocks. The team, led by chief viticulturist David Botting, has established a rootling nursery, imported new clones and introduced a commercial-scale closed-loop composting system that utilises all the winery’s grape waste.
A natural progression of Howard Park’s vineyard development was establishing a nursery at the Leston property, to assure the genetic integrity of the vine rootlings. Planted in 2014, it produces approximately 40,000 rootlings per year, all sourced from vineyard blocks with outstanding performance records. The diversification of clones is integral to optimal future winemaking at Howard Park.
The Margaret River and Great Southern wine regions are located in areas of significant environmental value and Howard Park Wines acknowledge and honour the regions’ unique biodiversity. Sustainability is part of our mission and we have adopted a long-term and whole-of-system approach to caring for our environment, with a diligent focus on uncovering new initiatives to improve our practices further.
Sustainable Winegrowing Australia
Our winery is certified under Australia’s most comprehensive sustainable winegrowing program, Sustainable Winegrowing Australia. This means that we choose products and undertake winemaking practices that minimise our environmental impact. Our Sustainability Action Plan outlines the activities that we have committed to implementing that protect and enhance our beautiful natural environment. Whether it’s regeneration activities around Wilyabrup Brook, or monitoring dieback in our jarrah trees, we have made a pledge to several ongoing sustainability initiatives. Our commitment to Sustainable Winegrowing Australia certification extends to our vineyards with the goal of securing certification for Abercrombie, Allingham, Leston and Mount Barrow Vineyards in 2022.
Our vineyards and winery are self-sufficient when it comes to water. The vineyards use dam water on the vines while the winery uses rainwater harvested from the roof. All winery wastewater is treated before being used to irrigate tree lots on our Cowaramup property.
Packaging, distribution and storage are the biggest contributors to wine’s carbon footprint. Howard Park is a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation. This means that we have committed to the regular review of our packaging in order to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and performance. We are tracking towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets which includes having 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging. More than 80% or our wine bottles are lightweight, meaning they use less energy to produce and less fuel to transport. Our cardboard packaging is made from recycled materials and our pallet wrap is recycled.
We are very keen on compost! We make our own onsite. After vintage, our marc (grape waste) is composted with manure, straw, fish emulsion, and woodchips. The compost is applied above and below the top soil in the vineyard to help improve the condition of our soil. This is applied to our vineyards in both Margaret River and Great Southern.
When you visit our cellar door, you will notice signs that ask that you stay out of the vineyards. This will prevent the spread of pests or diseases that maybe on your shoes or clothing entering our vineyard. Please just admire our vines from a safe distance.
The vineyards are managed using organic ideas to guide decision making. While not certified organic, we believe in the four main principles of organic farming: Health, Ecology, Fairness and Care.
We have planted several carefully-selected rye grass and perennial clovers between our vine rows. While this can give the appearance of a wild vineyard, these grasses are carefully selected and encouraged for their ability to hay-off. This thatch suppresses summer weeds while retaining moisture and organic matter in the soil.
We have sheep that rotate through the blocks and graze over June to September at the Leston vineyard. They help us control the weeds and grasses which saves on tractor use, diesel and avoids herbicides.
BECOME A PART OF THE FAMILY
Our Wine Club delivers your favourite Howard Park wines straight to your door and includes a range of additional benefits.