Sustainability Month – we’ll drink to that!

Knowing we are focused on sustainability, when our ambassador, Karen, popped in to Luvian’s Bottle Shop on Bonnygate, she asked about sustainable wines. She received “the most amazing overview” …

Luvian’s shared information on a New Zealand wine maker, telling us: “Almost 100% of New Zealand vineyards practice sustainable farming and wine making.

They highlighted the Yealands Wine Group – “committed to being a leader in sustainable wine production, guided by our Environmental and Sustainability Policy.

Sustainability is at the forefront of Yealands thinking across every aspect of their business:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Environmental enhancement
  3. Community engagement
  4. Energy efficiency
  5. Waste minimisation and
  6. Procurement

By using technology, creativity, innovation and participation in certified programmes, their ambition is “to lead the world in sustainable wine production“.

Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Accreditation

Yealands was the first winery in the world to be certified Toitū carbonzero from inception and are the only winery in New Zealand to hold this certification.

All Yealands branded wine products are subject to a full lifecycle analysis under the product certification, with an independent audit conducted annually. They are accredited to ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS), an international standard focused on continuous improvement, review and monitoring of systems to improve overall environmental performance.

At the beginning of last year (2020), Yealands became New Zealand’s only member of International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA), a collective working group committed to tackling the severity of the climate crisis by creating climate leadership in the wine industry. As a member of this group Yealands has made a commitment to lower its carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 – and by 80 per cent by 2045.

Initiatives & Awards

Sustainability is at the core of their business with many positively impactful initiatives in place:

  • Solar power
  • Generating energy through burning vine prunings
  • Harnessing coastal winds through on-site wind turbines
  • Purpose-built compost facility producing up to 6,000 tonnes per annum

Yealands Wine Group has been awarded a number of sustainability awards since opening in 2008. In 2016, they were an International Winner at the Drinks Business Green Awards, receiving the Renewable Energy Implementation Runner-Up Award for the installation of New Zealand’s largest solar panel array on their winery roof. Soon after, they were honoured with a BRIT Texas International Award of Excellence, winning the Platinum Award for International Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing in 2017.

Old World, New World

The Bottle Shop is a mine of information when it comes to all things wine-related. They also shared information on Michel Chapoutier, owner of Maison M. CHAPOUTIER.

The Maison’s history dates back to 1808 and continues to make history with its unique work in biodynamics. As their website states: “Some agricultural methods erode the soils and weaken them, they stifle biological life regardless how important it is. This observation led us to taking a stand and daring a disruptive move. Since 1991, biodynamics is at the heart M. CHAPOUTIER’s philosophy.

Michel Chapoutier (above) claims to be a chineur. He creates terroirs “where no one would dare to, where no one would bet a cent“. In the Rhône Valley, the cradle of their Maison, then in Roussillon, Australia and Portugal … the terroirs were “waiting for the right time to reveal themselves“.

When M. CHAPOUTIER acquires a new domain, the company relies on those who created it and use the company’s know-how to improve it further: “A direction is given, a philosophy explained.” This includes the crucial point of allowing the terroir to “express itself, according to biodynamic principles.” What does that mean? In short, working the earth with the minimum of inputs and no chemical products, in a quest to highlight the singularity of that particular terroir and add value to it.


Need more?

a unique man with a thirst for knowledge, definitely one of a kind. Michel is openminded and always willing to learn. He seeks to discover and reflect the full potential of his terroirs and let the soils express their true character. That which gives the wines their signature style. This now forms the basis of the M. CHAPOUTIER ethos and our team strives to reveal the very best of what the soils have to offer.

Visit Luvian’s website via this link. You can follow them on Facebook, email them, call them on 01334 654820 or – better still – pop in to see them at 93 Bonnygate.


Thanks for reading!