When you work land as exceptional as this, you protect it. Here at Spy Valley, we know that our environment is one of the many secrets to our success. It has sustained generations, and it is our job to nurture it for many more.
Since we began, Spy Valley Wines has been accredited under the New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing scheme. This initiative promotes economically and environmentally sustainable vineyard management. For us, this includes our winery, all of our company vineyards and our grower vineyards, and we are deeply satisfied with the way this environment benefits from our sustainability focus.
We invite you to discover the seven essential pillars of our environmental success.
Biodiversity: We are restoring the native wetland on our Area H Vineyard, an area known as one of the best remaining examples of spring-fed wetlands in the lower Wairau Valley. Weed control, animal pest control and re-vegetation are vital for this wetland to be restored to ecological health and maintained in good condition. Recently, we planted 700 native trees in this area alone.
Soil, Water & Air: The quality of our wines relies on the soil which feeds the grapes. We take care of these essential soils using organic matter and compost to replace nutrients such as lime, and minimising the cultivation needed. In the staff gardens, our worm farm by-product ensures our veggies thrive as well.
Water is a critical resource, consistently measured and managed through our extensive water management system. We use minimal irrigation, with two of the vineyards completely irrigation free.
New Zealand has some of the cleanest air in the world. At Spy Valley we are keeping it that way, monitoring and minimising noise and light emissions and measuring and controlling spray drift.
Energy: Reducing our energy use benefits both the environment and our business. The use of power meters, heat recovery systems, internal, heat regulating tanks and LED lighting all make a huge difference to our electricity consumption. Over 20% of our power is provided by over 200 solar panels, while also reducing our CO2 emissions significantly, and we also generate our own nitrogen.
In the vineyard all Spy Valley tractors have tier 3 environmental standards for energy efficiency. During winter months we graze sheep to keep the grass down and reduce the amount of mowing required.
Chemicals: Spy Valley is at the forefront of preventative technology and education to ensure the health of our grapes and vines. We use low-toxic, environmentally friendly products in the winery and vineyard, and in some areas we use an under-vine mower instead of spraying.
By-products: We abide by reduce, reuse and recycle principles throughout the winery. Our bottles are made out of 96% recycled glass, while crushing our own glass provides us with a fine dust, which we mulch and distribute below the grapevines to enhance the light reflection.
We now use Perlite as a filtering aid. Unlike earth, this product can be tipped directly into the grape marc, which is then broken down and sold back to local vineyards in the form of compost, reducing our landfill input.
Our waste plastics and cardboards are baled onsite and sent to Christchurch for recycling, while staff are encouraged to take home old pallets to turn into furniture – some unique outdoor furniture, coffee tables and herb gardens have been produced as a result of this initiative.
Recycling and reusing continues in the office, and we’ve even planted staff vegetable gardens, resulting in sustainable produce for the company dinner table.
People: Our success depends on our people. Spy Valley invests a lot into staff to ensure they are the best in the industry and on top of the latest trends and technology.
Spy Valley also gives back to the community in a number of ways. We have a number of ‘secret missions', such as our gold sponsorship of Life Education Trust. The Trust helps educate children about a number of life skills and making the right choices, including responsible use of alcohol.
Business: At Spy Valley our mission is to create a quality and profitable product, ensuring we maintain a sustainable business for the future. Our profitable business model helps Spy Valley make the right choices when it comes to benefiting the environment.
We are proud of our ISO 14001 international environmental standard certification, held since 2010. This environmental management system identifies and controls the environmental impact of activities, products and services, improves environmental performance and sets objectives and targets. This policy provides the basis for everything we do here at Spy Valley. You can view our full environmental policy here.