Sustainability at Howard Park Wines
Sustainability is at the very heart of our vineyard management. While not certified, our viticulture is guided by the Australian Standard for Organic Agriculture, which incorporates biodynamics.
We have carefully chosen organic and biodynamic principles from Australia and overseas, to best cater for each individual vineyard block & their nuances, rather than becoming certified under one authorising body.We are proud of our land and take every effort to go beyond expectations and industry standards in looking after it.
Organic & Biodynamic Practices
Our vineyards are guided by the Australian Standard for Organic Agriculture, which incorporates biodynamics. The vineyard team has largely been influenced by biodynamic practitioners in Burgundy, France, after spending time there & investigating their techniques. Thanks to this international perspective, we have chosen to remain uncertified, allowing us to pick the best principles from both organics & biodynamics & apply them to our own vineyard context.
The last 10 years has seen significant development in our composting resources, knowledge & practise. We pursue a closed-loop school of thought, where waste is converted & put back into the land to improve vine health, grape quality & yield. After vintage, our marc (grape) waste is composted with all organically-certified cow manure, straw, fish emulsion, malty liquid fertiliser & wood chips. Marc is usually considered a useless waste product – we go above & beyond to turn it into nutrient-rich organic matter.
We have planted 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.
Our winery & vineyards are totally water sufficient. Rainwater is collected from the winery roof, & all winery waste water is recycled & used to irrigate the tree lots on our properties.
Our compost program vastly helps us to eliminate the use of fertilisers, by letting us start with rich, nutrient soil. In instances where soil aid is needed, we use fertilisers that are all organic based, such as rock phosphate.
Insecticides & Fungicides
We apply small quantities of copper & wettable sulphur fungicide sprays when required, both accepted under organic & biodynamic standards. When caterpillars or grubs are an issue, we use a naturally occurring, organic bacterial suspension.
We have sheep that cell graze over June to September at the Leston vineyard, which helps to save on tractor use, diesel & using herbicides.
Our Leston vineyard & 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, & all light bulbs are environmentally-friendly, low-energy models.