Yealands Family Wines (Yealands) has received a Platinum Medal at the International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing Competition, run by The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT®).
BRIT honours organisations in the wine industry that are taking a leading role in implementing sustainable practices with its International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing.
The organisation looks at the implementation of innovative sustainable practices in the categories of air, water and land in both winegrowing and winemaking; social responsibility practices and the quality (taste) of the wine.
Yealands received the top honour for their ongoing environmental, economic and social sustainability programmes, and, importantly, for how well their wine tastes.
“Yealands’ list of sustainable programs is long and impressive. That takes commitment and vision,” said Ed Schneider, BRIT’s president and director. “Peter Yealands’ goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable winegrower could only be slightly upstaged by the quality of his wines.”
Yealands’ achievements in sustainability include being the world’s first carboNZero certified winery, as well as being home to the largest solar array in New Zealand, generating over 411 kilowatts of power while offsetting 82 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Their other innovative sustainable programmes include: wind-powered energy; using a flock of miniature Babydoll sheep to graze in between vines rows, reducing the need for mechanical mowing; installing floating solar-powered lighting in its wetlands to attract grass grub beetles thereby reducing the need for chemical pesticides while protecting the grapevines; and burning vine prunings instead of propane gas thus eliminating over 180 tonnes of CO2 per year.