All our vineyards 'Certified Members’ of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia
Handpicked® Wines achieves ‘Certified Member’ status for all six of its Australian vineyards with Sustainable Winegrowing Australia
From cool climate Tasmania to the iconic Barossa Valley, Handpicked® Wines has taken a step forward for sustainability, having officially achieved Certified Member status for all six of its Australian vineyards with Sustainable Winegrowing Australia.
In Tasmania, Handpicked Vineyards Swan Bay - Native Point Vineyard, and Handpicked Vineyards Kayena - Auburn Road Vineyard are certified members of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia. Both sites are also Certified Organic by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA) .
In Barossa Valley, Handpicked Vineyards Ebenezer - Watunga Road Vineyard is a certified member of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia.
In the Mornington Peninsula, Handpicked Vineyards Mornington - Capella Vineyard and Capella Winery are certified members of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia. Both are also NASAA Certified Organic, which makes Capella Vineyard the first and only vineyard in the entire state of Victoria to hold both certifications. This demonstrates not only a true commitment to organic and sustainable grapegrowing practices, but also the pioneering spirit behind the brand.
The certified status update follows an intensive national review of Handpicked® Wines’ practices in the vineyards and Mornington Peninsula-based winery, with electricity use and biodiversity across its 82.8 hectares under vine being a key focus on the company’s sustainability journey. Achieving the status allows for sustainability-conscious consumers to be aware of and support growers and makers committed to producing wine that will reduce environmental impact and protect people and communities across Australia.
“Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is a program to support continuous improvement, and receiving this Certification only marks the start of our journey - one that tells a story of long-term commitment and our dedication to improving our performance year on year,” Handpicked® Wines’ Chief Winemaker Peter Dillon said.
“Achieving this status shows we’re not just talking the talk, but walking the walk in becoming a sustainable business. Being a member of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia allows us to benchmark our performance across our sites and multiple regions and set company goals to improve every year.”
Handpicked® Wines’ spiritual home in the Mornington Peninsula, Capella Vineyard, has long been an incubator site for innovative sustainability practices. It is the first and only site the state of Victoria to be both a Certified Member from Sustainable Winegrowing Australia and to have received the Organic Certification from NASAA.
“We’re excited to be setting the pace for sustainability in the Mornington Peninsula with these important certifications. We also know that we play a significant role in collaborating with other wineries to work more sustainably as a region,” Handpicked® Wines Winemaker Rohan Smith said.
“There’s also some incredible synergies across our various sites as we continue to test and learn from new sustainability developments. At Capella Vineyard, our vines are teeming with life following our extensive work with inter-row crop covers like snow peas, radish or crimson clover for weed control, which reduces the need for herbicides. We’re also creating ‘insectariums’ on site, which provide a food source for beneficial insects to prey on pests that would wreak havoc in the vineyard.
“Much of this work in organic farming is now practised across our other sites, and it is paying off in the growing quality of our wines. At Wombat Creek Vineyard in the Yarra Valley for example, Indian ducks have been introduced for snail control in lieu of pesticides. From an energy perspective, our Tasmanian sites draw a lot of their energy consumption from solar, and now that we know how that works in best practice, we’ll roll that out to our other sites over time.”
Beyond the vineyards, Handpicked® Wines strives to function sustainably across its Sydney and Melbourne Urban Cellar Doors. Some of the current eco-friendly practices include:
- Increased use of recycled materials - for example, kitchen towels and other paper materials like napkins, and hand towels.
- Glass bottle recycling in partnership with the Environmental Protection Authority.
- Plant-based biodegradable cleaning solutions.
- The removal of plastic materials where possible (apart from food packaging). The teams only use recycled tissue paper for packaging and gifting items and reuse six-bottle cartons for customers.
- Handpicked® Wines Regional Selections Prosecco bottles are re-used as water carafes
From a product perspective, Handpicked® Wines has been a certified member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) since 2021 to keep packaging materials out of landfill. Testament to this is the obtention in 2023 of an APCO ‘Advanced’ performance report, noting that the company has taken ‘tangible action on its packaging journey’.
“Consumers are increasingly focussed on sustainability in terms of their buying choices. As a producer, we focus on custodianship and doing everything possible to reduce our environmental footprint for the long term. There’s plenty more we can do in the future, but we’re incredibly proud of the work our team has done to date and its impact on the industry,” Dillon said.
For more information about Handpicked® Wines’ sustainability initiatives, please visit www.Handpicked®wines.com.au/en/sustainability.
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