Organisation Category: Accommodation & Food Services
Located in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough, Yealands Family Wines produces award-winning New Zealand wines in harmony with the environment.
Established in 2008, Yealands was always destined to be a story of thinking differently. Stretching from the foothills of the Kaikoura Ranges to undulating downs overlooking Cook Strait, it’s hard to believe that Yealands’ picturesque Seaview Vineyard began life as rugged pastoral countryside. Boasting some of the toughest conditions in the Marlborough region, including steep slopes that many said were impossible for viticulture, strong winds, cool nights and low rainfall, the land was transformed by working sympathetically with the natural contours across the uniquely folded landscape to create the striking, coastal vineyard visible today.
By 08.08.08, when Yealands opened the doors to their carbon neutral winery, their vision was to be one of the world’s most sustainable wine producers, determined that the only way to craft truly beautiful wines was in partnership with nature. Their landmark building, guided throughout by the New Zealand Green Building Code, was the first in the world to be carboNZeroCertTM from inception. All aspects of the winery were designed to maximise their sustainability features, as well as embracing future growth through in-built capability for expansion.
Today, Yealands continues to think and act differently. New innovations, such as installing the largest solar panel array in New Zealand on their winery roof, burning baled vine prunings for energy, and playing classical music to the vines, signal this active sense of vision. Engaging the wider community in the sustainability journey remains at the heart of the Seaview experience, where initiatives are shared with the annual 10,000+ visitors to the Cellar Door, complemented by the award-winning self-guided White Road Tour winding its way through this uniquely scenic vineyard.
In a few short years, Yealands have established themselves as globally-recognised producers of premium wine, winning a number of prestigious sustainability awards, including the BRIT Texas International Award of Excellence 2017 “Platinum Award for International Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing”, along with more than 30 trophies and 1,700+ wine awards and accolades.
Sustainable initiatives include:
- Emission Reduction:
Wine production is an energy intensive business, as the wine needs to be warmed prior to fermentation and bottling, and cooled for storage and stabilisation. Yealands’ extensive range of energy efficiency initiatives to reduce emissions, include:
- New Zealand’s largest solar panel installation – contributing up to 505,000 kWh per annum – the equivalent annual power use of 86 average New Zealand households.
- The adoption of SMART technology, such as heat recovery units, variable speed drives, refrigeration economisers, evaporative condensers, lighting sensor monitors and energy saving monitors. In addition, all tanks are housed within a fully insulated building, enabling Yealands to become four times more energy efficient than the industry average.
- The utilisation of renewable energy sources, which incorporate solar, wind and grapevine prunings.
- Approximately 10% of the vineyard prunings are harvested, baled and burned at the winery. Each bale weighs around 200kg. At full capacity, the specially installed burners can produce over 500KW of energy (a similar equivalent to that consumed over a three week period in an average NZ household). This process eliminates over 180 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) per year. Yealands are the only NZ winery using these burners as an energy source.
- The introduction of Babydoll sheep, a breed of miniature sheep, too small to reach fruit in the vine canopy. This reduces the need to mow with tractors, helping reduce the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions.
- Reducing the average glass weight for bottles. This in-turn has delivered an 11.5% reduction in CO2 respectively, for each of the glass and transport-to-customer emissions.
- Land Care
Yealands aim to leave the land better than they found it, hence their motto – Think Boldly, Tread Lightly. They achieve this through a wide range of initiatives and ongoing projects:
- Over 25 wetlands have been established and developed at the Seaview Vineyard to boost flora and fauna diversity. As a result, Royal Spoonbills, Black Swans, Teal Ducks, White Herons, Banded Dotterels and Pied Stilts all now choose to make the wetlands their home.
- Over 200,000 native shrubs and flaxes have been planted. These have successfully attracted the return of Bellbirds and Tuis to Seaview.
- Participation in a breeding programme for the endangered native New Zealand Falcon, the Karearea, and the releasing of chicks onto the vineyard.
- Utilising alternatives to synthetic chemicals.
- The addition of chickens to provide a natural form of pest control.
- Production and application of over 15,000 tonnes of compost per annum. Using Seaview’s own grape marc in the homemade compost has not only improved soil fertility and water retention (thereby minimising irrigation), but also reduced grape marc waste and the need for other fertilisers.
Yealands’ on-going recycling initiatives include:
- Development of a technique to reuse broken posts, up to 5% of which are replaced annually. Therefore, recycling not only effectively minimises waste, but also offers an economically viable alternative to purchasing new posts.
- On-site recycling of the by-products, such as grape marc.
- Packaging made from recycled materials:
- Cartons 93%
- Carton inserts 100%
- Glass up to 60%
At Yealands Family Wines, we are very proud to be the first winery in the world to be certified as carboNZero Cert TM from inception. We believe that sustainability has no end point; it is an ongoing and evolving process of continual improvement. Therefore, trialing new initiatives remains central to our philosophy. We lead the wine industry in thinking outside the square, and coming up with innovative sustainable solutions to common industry issues. We prove that being sustainable doesn't have to cost more or be a hurdle to success, it can be, in fact, what sets you apart.Awards and Certifications:
- Sustainable Winegrowing NZ
Listing last updated 22/08/2017