Sustainable Carbon Neutral Wine
Our bottle labels feature some of the wildlife seen around the vineyard and winery and represent our sympathetic approach to our environment. We are firmly committed to ‘best practices’ in vineyard management and winery processes as we strive to reduce our CARBON FOOTPRINT in order to acheive a CARBON NEUTRAL business. Read about our progress in our Blog
Our steps include:
- Since our first vintage we have used 100% green energy in our winery and throughout our estate, in part supplied by our own array of 159 solar panels. The size of our array means we export a signficant amount of solar energy to the grid, contributing to the overall growth in green energy use by others.
- Extensive insulation of our winery and bottle store to minimize energy consumption
- Adaptation of wine making practices to significantly reduce on-site energy use. We have halved our energy use over the last few years.
- Year-round maintenance of grass cover in alleys and headlands to reduce soil erosion and compaction.
- Use of sheep over winter in the vineyard to control ground cover and provide manure
- Under vine cultivation to reduce use of herbicides
- Mulching of all vine prunings in the vineyard alleys to add back soil nutrients and organic matter so reducing our need for additional inputs
- Application of green compost to improve soil structure and fertility. We are also now planting ‘green manures’ to further build our soils organic matter levels.
- Extensive and detailed GPS soil nutrient mapping to ensure we only add nutrients exactly when and where required
- Minimising new building development. Our Tasting Room was constructed as a mezzanine within the exisiting framework of our Winery.
- Reviewing every component of our wine packaging to find areas to reduce carbon emissions. Our first step is to move from screw caps to natural cork in our still wines. For more on this please read our blog.
- During 2023 all of our labels will transition to being printed on recycled paper.
- Monitoring, measuring, reducing and re-cycling of as much of our waste as possible. We have been long term members of FarmXS, a farm plastic and cardboard collection and recycling scheme and we also now work with Recorra to ensure we sort and recycle as much of our Tasting Room and office waste as possible.
- In 2018 we launched the first Sussex Vermouth as a means of finding a home for batches of wine that were not suitable for blending into our sparkling or still wines. Rather than disposing of this wine, we found it was perfect for making a delicious Vermouth so reducing our waste wine levels.
- We use LED lighting in our Tasting Room and Office space
- We have recently signed up to join the ‘Sustainable Wines of GB’ programme managed by WinesGB so that we can have our sustainability measures independently audited and verified. Given the level of ‘green washing’ around, we felt this to be important. We will publicise the results as soon as we have them.
Wildlife & Art
Everyday we enjoy wonderful wildlife in and around our vineyard and this has inspired our label designs.
Our still wine range features a Buzzard, a Green Woodpecker, a Dandelion and a Common Blue Butterfly and the first of our sparkling wine bottles proudly displays a Barn Owl – all regularly sighted here and painted for us by talented local artist Louise Body.
We plan to involve other local artistic talent in the future as well as celebrating the wealth of flora and fauna that makes our local environment so uniquely vibrant.
Louise trained in Fine art-painting and graduated from Nottingham University in 1996. In 2002 as part of an exhibition about domestic environments, Louise hand printed some wallpaper which was about the British obsession with tea drinking.
Now the commonest and most widespread UK bird of prey. It is quite large with broad, rounded wings, and a short neck and tail. When gliding and soaring it will often hold its wings in a shallow ‘V’ and the tail is fanned. Their plaintive mewing call could be mistaken for a cat.
The Green Woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpeckers that breed in Britain. It has a heavy-looking body, short tail and a strong, long bill. It is green on its upperparts with a paler belly, bright yellow rump and red on the top of its head. The black ‘moustache’ has a red centre in males. They have an undulating flight and a loud, laughing call.
Common Blue Butterfly
Living up to its name, this butterfly is the commonest blue found in the British Isles. While the male has bright blue uppersides, the female is primarily brown, with a highly variable amount of blue. This is the most widespread Lycaenid found in the British Isles and can be found almost anywhere, including Orkney.
The barn owl has a heart-shaped face, pure white under parts and a light brown back and wingsbuff back and wings and pure white underparts, it can be a haunting sight flying at night but the the barn owl is a distinctive and much-loved countryside bird. Widely distributed across the UK, the barn own has been affected by pesticides and is in decline.
Taraxacum officinale, common Dandelions grow in all kinds of grasslands from lawns to roadside verges, pastures to traditional meadows and is beneficial to wildlife, providing food for nectar-loving insects.
The swallows, martins, and saw-wings, or Hirundinidae, are a family of passerine birds found around the world on all continents, including occasionally in Antarctica. Highly adapted to aerial feeding, they have a distinctive appearance.
The roe deer, also known as the roe, western roe deer or European roe, is a species of deer. The male of the species is sometimes referred to as a roebuck. The roe is a small deer, reddish and grey-brown, and well-adapted to cold environments.
The Canada goose is a large wild goose with a black head and neck, white cheeks, white under its chin, and a brown body. It is native to the arctic and temperate regions of North America, and its migration occasionally reaches across the Atlantic to northern Europe.