At Cloudy Bay, we consider the environment and social impact in all that we do. We are proud of the sustainable culture that is now an integral part of our organization.
Cloudy Bay Vineyards was a founding member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand.
IN THE VINEYARD:
The use of under-vine weeding machinery has drastically reduced the requirement of herbicides. During the growing season, the under-vine area is either mowed, cultivated or a mix of both; preferring to nurture an environment that encourages soil heath and plant vitality while providing habitat and food sources for predator insects.
The term ‘understory’ collectively describes the mix of plants growing both between and under the vines. Plants growing within the vines protect the soil from the harsh New Zealand sun, allowing nutrients to generate more readily. Between row crop covers are now standard practice in our vineyards. Legume plantings capture atmospheric nitrogen and convert it to organic nitrogen in the leaves, which become available for uptake by the vine.
During winter, sheep graze in our vineyard keeping weeds under control with the added benefit of spreading manure around the vineyard. Additional fertilizer comes in the guise of compost, derived by combining the grape marc produced at vintage with locally available organic matter. Organic matter increases soil water holding capacity and feeds its microbes, in turn helping the vines extract nutrients from within.
Increased use of multitasking tractor operations (mowing, trimming and mulching in a single pass) lead to a reduction in hours of tractor use, delivering reduced diesel consumption.
IN THE WINERY:
Winery waste water is a by-product requiring a considered management program. Cloudy Bay has developed a gum tree and native plantation to utilise this resource. The gum trees make up our woodlot, a self-renewing resource that feeds on our recycled waste water. Gums are quick growing and provide firewood for our cellar door and accommodation facilities. Adjacent to the woodlot is a development of native plantings, also fed by our winery water program. It is an ecosystem attracting local bird species, notably the native Tui bird, back to the Wairau Valley. The native plantings are part of the Marlborough Tui to Town project. Both areas provide grazing for sheep throughout the year.
Within the winery, modification and improvements are made every day; insulated stainless steel winery tanks reduce refrigeration energy loss, insulation of barrel halls and the installation of rapid roller doors retain heat better and low power lighting reduce energy use. Electric forklifts utilise a renewable energy source with our energy supplier acquiring 50% of its energy through hydro-electric sources.
Recycling remains an important standard practice. Paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, bidules, capsules and crown seals all have dedicated programs.