As a group of people who have lived on and worked in harmony with these lands for many years we feel a deep connection to them and are devoted to caring for our natural environment in the best ways we know how. We understand our relationship with the whenua to be a reciprocal one, whereby we look after Papatūānuku and, in turn, she looks after us.
A holistic approach to grape growing guides the way we nurture all of our vineyards and allows us the flexibility to cater to the different characteristics of each of these ecosystems.
Under-vine weed management is an area we are passionate about exploring so that we might implement the most effective and sustainable methods we can. Seemingly unimportant, under-vine weed management in fact has a significant effect on soil health and biodiversity and as such it is crucial that we keep competition from grasses and other weeds in check. Certain organic practices such as under-row mowing and cultivation come with a heavier carbon footprint than other non-organic practices and also compromise soil health and biodiversity. As such, we are looking at establishing a cover crop under the vines which creates a healthy environment for beneficial fungi and adds to biodiversity instead of taking away from it.
Furthermore, we have successfully seen the introduction of sheep to our vineyards which has nearly eliminated the need for under-vine weed management! Our woolly workers also do an amazing job of leaf plucking the canopy which allows for good air flow and aeration of the soil, and provide manure full of organic goodness to give the soil life. They are an integral part of our move towards a more regenerative way of farming.
Packaging and freight...
We use 80% recycled lightweight wine bottles (the lighter they are the less fuel used in freight), and freight our export wine by sea (which has a carbon footprint 20 to 30 times smaller than air freight).
The little things...
Caring for the health of our planet trickles down from the top, influencing our big decisions as well as our little ones. We’re a small team here at Gladstone Vineyard, making it simple for all of us to take responsibility for our day-to-day tasks and running of the business. Some of our modest endeavours include using natural lighting as a source of daytime light in the winery; recycling glass, plastic, paper, tins and cardboard; reusing packaging as much as possible; and using environmentally friendly cleaning products across the business.