All six of Handpicked Wines’ Australian vineyards have been recognised for their sustainable practices by Sustainable Winegrowing Australia.
The vineyards held by Handpicked Wines span the states of Tasmania, South Australia, and Victoria and alongside Certified Member status with Sustainable Winegrowing Australia, Capella Vineyard and Winery in Mornington Peninsula also received Organic Certification from the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA). This makes Capella the first and only site in Victoria to hold both certifications.
The Tasmanian estates Native Point Vineyard and Auburn Road Vineyard also hold both certifications. The Highbow Hill and Wombat Creek Vineyards in the Yarra Valley and the Watunga Road Vineyard in the Barossa Valley are the other two wineries with Certified Member status. Since 2021, Handpicked Wines has also been a certified member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, working to reduce packaging material entering landfill.
“Achieving this status shows we’re not just talking the talk, but walking the walk in becoming a sustainable business. Being a member of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia allows us to benchmark our performance across our sites and multiple regions and set company goals to improve every year,” Handpicked Wines’ Chief Winemaker Peter Dillon said.
The certification was conferred after an extensive review of sustainability practices across the six vineyards and one winery. The certification also allows eco-conscious consumers to find and support sustainable vineyards.
“Consumers are increasingly focussed on sustainability in terms of their buying choices. As a producer, we focus on custodianship and doing everything possible to reduce our environmental footprint for the long term. There’s plenty more we can do in the future, but we’re incredibly proud of our team’s work and its impact on the industry,” Dillon said.
Handpicked Wines has a strong focus on biodiversity and energy usage. The Capella Vineyard in the Mornington Peninsula has been the leader for Handpicked Wines’ sustainability practices, according to Handpicked Wines winemaker Rohan Smith.
“At Capella Vineyard, our vines are teeming with life following our extensive work with inter-row crop covers like snow peas, radish or crimson clover for weed control, which reduces the need for herbicides. We’re also creating ‘insectariums’ on site, which provide a food source for beneficial insects to prey on pests that would wreak havoc in the vineyard,” Smith explained.
This work is also continuing at other Handpicked Wines vineyards.
“At Wombat Creek Vineyard in the Yarra Valley, Indian ducks have been introduced for snail control instead of pesticides. From an energy perspective, our Tasmanian sites draw a lot of their energy consumption from solar, and now that we know how that works in best practice, we’ll roll that out to our other sites over time,” Smith continued.
Handpicked Wines is dedicated to a continuing sustainable practice across all six vineyards.
“Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is a program to support continuous improvement, and receiving this Certification only marks the start of our journey – one that tells a story of long-term commitment and our dedication to improving our performance year on year,” concluded Dillon.