Sustainability Policy

Our aims are: to protect what is already here; To mitigate against the impact of a monoculture; to improve biodiversity; to prevent soil erosion; to promote carbon storage; to do no harm to the environment and to minimise waste. This is reflected in every aspect of our viticulture, viniculture and sales. We constantly strive to do even better.

 

VITICULTURE

  • we do not use insecticides.
  • we prefer hoeing under the vines to herbicides, and we keep wide grass alleys between the vines and narrow under-vine strips.
  • The margins of the vineyard are planted with wildflowers.
  • We have planted fruit trees around the vineyard to provide food and nesting sites for birds and bees.
  • We encourage dandelions in the vineyard alleys to provide early nectar for bees and the added benefit is that their long roots address soil compaction.
  • Our gardens have been planted with insect biodiversity in mind (particularly with bee friendly plants including thyme lawns)
  • We have planted hedges around the vineyard.
  • In the middle of the vineyard there is a wild, wooded area which is home to foxes, badgers and rabbits, and our pond has ducks, frogs, snails.
  • We monitor birds. Every year we find birds nesting in the vines.
  • We encourage Insects in the vineyard include ladybirds, lacewings, earwigs, dragonflies.
  • We do not irrigate.
  • The vineyard is grazed in the winter by ouessant sheep (the smallest sheep in the world): the short grass minimizes the frost risk, the sheep condition the soil and these ‘lawnmowers’ don’t use fossil fuel.
  • Our hedges are browsed by Golden Guernsey goats
  • We condition our vineyard soil by mulching vine prunings back into the ground.
  • Our sprayer recycles spray so that only the vines are treated and there is no wastage or contamination.
  • We try to counter-balance any problems that might arise wither by using biological controls (eg importing lacewings as predators) or planting (eg bird cherry to distract the alien SWD (spotted wing drosophila))
  • We keep the grape marc, subject it to vermiculture for a few years and then use it as a soil-conditioning mulch in the vineyard.
  • As we only use about two thirds of the grape for Sparkling wine, to prevent the rest from being wasted, a third party uses it to make other wine products such as vermouth, shrubs and wine vinegar.

 

WINERY

  • Our winery buildings are well insulated and therefore do not need heating or cooling.
  • We clean the tanks and barrels with steam both to avoid chemicals and to minimise water usage.

 

SALES

  • Our packaging is reusable and recyclable
  • We use eco-friendly, non-toxic vegetable inks on our foils.

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1: little owls, barn owls, buzzards, crows, magpies, green woodpeckers, starling house sparrows, blue tits, blackbirds, wood pigeons, chaffinches, great tits, robins, mistle thrushes, cuckoo, goldfinch, house martins, jays, pied wagtails, pheasants, song thrushes and turtle doves.