Yealands Estate is creating a 21st-century template for sustainable winemaking, with initiatives across all stages of the business – from the vineyard, to the winery, to distribution and marketing – to ensure and enhance sustainability.
Based in Marlborough, and the first winery in the country to be accredited as carboNZero from its inception, Yealands’ output offsets its greenhouse gas emissions. It uses vine pruning bales that would otherwise go to waste as an alternative to LPG, and it is shortly planning to implement what will be the country’s largest solar panel installation.
The company also produces over 20,000 tonnes of high-nutrient compost a year by using the waste of other wineries and industries that would have been destined for landfill otherwise, while using new or novel methods (hydrogen generators, babydoll sheep) to cut down on burning diesel in the vineyard itself. Even the bottle you eventually hold in your hand is a result of Yealands’ sustainability credentials – made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) which takes less and makes less than glass when produced and recycled.
All this has led to Yealands being four times more efficient in energy consumption than the wine industry average, an advantage that has itself led to a beneficial impact on the local and domestic economy. The company now employs over 135 people full-time, and has gained distribution in over 70 countries.
Yealands won the Energy Management Award and Renewables Impact Award at the 2013 NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards.