Bethany Wines is committed to caring for the land where we grow grapes for wine. In an effort to nurture the land and maintain it for future generations, we have a number of strategies to reduce our reliance on water, chemicals and energy.
The friable structure and good water-holding capacity of our soil means annual rainfall provides the right amount of soil moisture throughout the year to maintain soil nutrients and organic matter. To increase soil nutrients and organic matter, we grow a covercrop in the centre of the vine rows each spring. Maintaining a high nutrient level in the soil also makes our vines resistant to drought, further reducing our need to water vines.
Careful hand-pruning allows us to control the growth of the vine such that there is an open canopy. Maintaining the growth of the canopy allows for free air movement in the vine, thus reducing the potential for disease and therefore our need to spray.
Winemaking by gravitation also allows us to reduce energy costs. Grapes are delivered to the highest point in the winery where they are crushed and fed by gravity into the press. This minimal intervention process is not only more environmentally friendly but also promotes the natural fruit flavours and soft tannin characters in the wine. Gravitation also limits the exposure of fruit to oxidation, therefore limiting the amount of additives that need to be added during the winemaking process.
Bethany Wines has also developed its own action plan for recycling and environmental policy, and undergoes audits regularly. Practices to reduce the carbon footprint have also extended to wastewater management and bottling, with the winery now using light-weight bottles for its Estate Range of wines.