The Howard Park Wines winery and two vineyard have been confirmed as Certified Members of the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (SWA) initiative.
The recognition follows a review of the company’s sustainability practices and the creation of a Sustainability Action Plan, which has now been implemented across the business.
The Burch family says it’s proud of the team’s work in making the necessary changes and developing future plans for the vineyard and across all stages in the production cycle to become one of a growing number of WA winery members in the SWA organisation.
“As a second-generation family business that works in harmony with the land, we know first-hand the challenges a changing environment has on the wines we produce, and our philosophy has grown and evolved in response to that. Ultimately our aim is to leave our sites and beautiful region in a better state than how we received it,” Howard Park Wines General Manager & Marketing Director Natalie Burch said.
“The vineyard and the winery teams are passionate about finding new and innovative solutions to work with the natural resources available to us more sustainably. The SWA initiative provides us with a wonderful framework to set that up successfully.”
To mark the milestone, 20 employees from Howard Park Wines spent the day with the gardening team to plant native tree species along the Wilyabrup Brook on the property. This catchment is a highly valued and sensitive environmental area where the winery, in collaboration with Nature Conservation Margaret River, identified was showing signs of stress.
With more than 350 trees planted, the winery initiated a long-term plan to re-establish a wildlife corridor from one end of the property to the other. Native species in this planting included Marri, Banksia, Swamp bottlebrush, Peppermints, and Paperbarks, which will provide food, nesting sites, and connectivity for the movement of species such as the Western ringtail possum.
“This was a fantastic exercise to mark our ongoing journey in the sustainability space. Going forward, we will continue to improve how we interact with these important sites and increase the quality of plants and trees in the area to encourage the regeneration of native species. This will only help build a more resilient ecosystem and greater species richness in the area,” Burch said.
SWA is the national program for grape growers and winemakers promoting those producers dedicated to working with the land in a more holistic and environmentally friendly way. Since its establishment in 2019, there have been 1,107 Members recognised and an additional 276 Certified Members in the program across the country.