Like any agricultural ecosystem, vineyards can be susceptible to pests and disease. The pest control methods used in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach enable us to protect our vines in a way which respects the local environment and with the least possible disruption to the vineyards’ delicate ecosystem and wildlife.
In 2020, we took the decision to remove herbicide use across our vineyards and now use mechanical weeding in the growing season and a local flock of 25 Suffolk and Mule sheep over the winter. The sheep graze the vineyards keeping the grass short and removing weeds without compacting the earth or harming the vines.
To balance soil nutrients and provide our vines with everything they need, we compost all grape marc post-harvest and utilise it across our estate vineyards along with natural chicken manure pellets.
Our winery has been designed to be energy efficient and to generate its own electricity through solar panels situated on the south side of the building. We have created a thermal envelope or ‘above ground cellar’ in which to age our wines. This unique design negates the need for any powered climate control systems.
We hate waste and ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ is an important part of our winery ethos. Winery effluent is converted into drinking water through a series of ecologically balanced wetland cells and returned to the natural waterways. Light sensors mean that only the working area is illuminated, so that we do not waste energy. We recycle everything that is no longer required and cannot be reused.
As long-term supporters of The Woodland Trust we understand the importance of trees and their impact on local wildlife and the environment. Over the years, we have planted 8,000 new trees on the estate including a registered wood as part of the Jubilee Project by The Woodland Trust to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
We created a naturally fed 6 million litre reservoir on the estate to supply our vine irrigation system. Each year this large body of water becomes home to breeding flocks of Canada and Graylag geese. All our vineyards have deer fencing which not only protects our precious vines but also means that the local herd of Fallow deer do not harm themselves on trellising and wires.