In Central Otago, our dry and low humidity climate, warm summers and cold winters, low vigour and yield practices results in low disease and pest pressure which provides us with the perfect base with which to produce an ecologically sustainable crop.
All Chard Farm vineyards; both company owned and contracted growers; are currently accredited under the SWNZ - Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand program. Scorecards are returned annually and independent auditors assess the vineyard and winery every three years to assure compliance with a wide range of environmental measures. In addition to this we are members of the Central Otago Organic Winegrowers Association and are currently trialling organic production to investigate the suitability of organic weed control for our vineyard sites. In conjunction with our low chemical inputs, we have found composting our grape marc and winery waste is an effective way of returning nutrients and increasing the organic matter of our soils. Wetland development and herbal corridors allow greater bio diversity within the vineyard surrounds.
In the winery we are also accredited under the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand winery program. In reality though our practices in the winery go beyond that level and can be referred to as organic. We use no additives other than sulphur dioxide - no enzymes, no added yeast, no nitrogen additions and no fining agents.
The winery itself is very energy efficient. As well as utilising natural heating and cooling methods we are investigating a hydro scheme from the stream to supply electricity. Water use is low and no environmental and personnel damaging chemicals or products are used.
A company wide proactive recycling program for items such as cardboard, paper, glass and batteries means our environmental footprint is getting lighter and lighter.
making compost at Chard Farm