Our Sustainability Policy
Our aims are:
(1) to protect what is already here;
(2) To mitigate against the impact of a monoculture;
(3) to improve biodiversity; to prevent soil erosion;
(4) to promote carbon storage; to do no harm to the environment and
(5) to minimise waste.
This is reflected in every aspect of our viticulture, viniculture and sales. We constantly strive to do even better.
We are proudly certified carbon neutral.
- We do not use insecticides.
- We prefer hoeing under the vines to herbicides, and we keep wide grass alleys between the vines row 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 particularly encourage dandelions in the vineyard: providing early nectar for bees, and tackling soil compaction with their long roots.
- Our gardens have been planted to promote insect biodiversity (particularly with bee friendly plants including thyme lawns, lavender, sages, salvias)
- We have planted hedges and trees around the vineyard.
- The middle of the vineyard has a wild, wooded area which is home to foxes, badgers and rabbits, and our pond has ducks, frogs, snails and many aquatic creatures.
- We monitor birds. Every year birds nest in the vines and around the vineyard.
- We encourage Insects in the vineyard including ladybirds, lacewings, earwigs, dragonflies.
- We have a healthy bat population.
- We do not irrigate the vines.
- 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 counter-balance potential problems with biological controls (eg encouraging lacewings as predators) or planting dead end hosts (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. The rest is not wasted: a third party uses it to make other wine products (eg vermouth, shrubs and wine vinegar).