Sustainability at Howard Park Wines
Sustainability is at the very heart of Howard Park’s vineyard management.
Howard Park is a proud practitioner of biological farming, where soil health is of utmost importance. Traditional farming techniques, including organic and biodynamic principles, are melded with modern advancements. The intent is to create rich and fertile soil that will carry all grape-growing efforts into the future, without interfering with the course of nature or causing environmental harm.
Howard Park is proud of its land and takes every effort to go beyond expectations and industry standards in looking after it.
Organic & Biodynamic Practices
Howard Park’s biological farming is guided by the Australian Standard for Organic Agriculture. The vineyard team has largely been influenced by biodynamic practitioners in Burgundy, France, after spending time there and investigating their techniques. This international perspective lead to the decision to remain uncertified, allowing the team to ‘cherry-pick’ the best old and new world principles and apply them to serve the nuances of each individual vineyard block.
Howard Park has seen significant development in its composting resources, knowledge and practise over the last 10 years. A closed-loop school of thought is pursued, where waste is converted and returned to the land, improving vine health, grape quality and yield. After vintage, marc (grape) waste is composted with organically-certified cow manure, straw, fish emulsion, malty liquid fertiliser and wood chips. Marc is usually considered a useless waste product – but the viticultural team goes above and beyond to turn it into nutrient-rich organic matter.
Carefully-selected rye grass & perennial clovers between our vine rows. While this can give the appearance of a wild vineyard, these grasses are carefully selected & encouraged for their ability to hay-off. This thatch suppresses summer weeds while retaining moisture & organic matter in the soil.
The winery & vineyards are totally water sufficient. Rainwater is collected from the winery roof, and all winery waste water is recycled & used to irrigate the tree lots on our properties.
Howard Park’s exhaustive compost program vastly helps eliminate the use of fertilisers, by starting with rich, nutrient soil. In instances where soil aid is needed, all organic-based fertilisers are used, such as rock phosphate.
Insecticides & Fungicides
Small quantities of copper and wettable sulphur fungicide sprays are applied when required, both accepted under organic and biodynamic standards. When caterpillars or grubs are an issue, a naturally occurring, organic bacterial suspension is used.
Howard Park have sheep that cell graze over June to September at the Leston vineyard, which helps to save on tractor use, diesel and using herbicides.
The Leston vineyard and winery is certified under EntWine, through the Winemakers Federation of Australia.
Environmentally Friendly Packaging
More than 80% of our bottles are lean & green, using less energy & water during manufacture, & require less fuel to transport them.
All glass, cardboard & plastic waste at the wineries is recycled, and all light bulbs are environmentally-friendly, low-energy models.