Hayes Family Wines’ Estate Vineyard in Stone Well has been farmed organically for many years now and is currently in conversion to organic certification (expected in time for 2020 vintage). Our other primary vineyards in Ebenezer are farmed organically and biodynamically.
Organic grapes and wines are made in accordance with specific criteria regarding what can and cannot be used in the vineyard and winery. These include, for example, not using synthetic herbicides and pesticides, as well as limits on additives such as sulphur and copper.
Organic certification requires strict processes around tracking and reporting what we do and use in the vineyard and winery. We have annual onsite audits (planned and unplanned). It is your guarantee of what is in the bottle.
Producing organic grapes and wine (and the associated certification process) is an expensive business. In our experience yields are lower and the manual inputs required are much higher. However, we believe this approach is better for our vineyards, our winery and the wider environment; ensuring healthier habitats for flora and fauna, and a safer workplace for our people. Advocates say organic produce is safer, possibly more nutritious and often tastes better. We think there’s some truth to these claims and we are absolutely convinced that farming and making wines organically is better for the well-being of our consumers.
“I believe Hayes Family Wines should be farming organically for as long as our grape quality is as good as or better than ‘conventionally’ farmed grapes.”
Of course, caring for our environment and operating sustainably extends beyond organic farming and winemaking. Here’s an example of other sustainable practices we employ:
Use of natural grasses and composts to improve vineyard soils.
Program in place to grow native trees that promote beneficial insect species (including mapping and measurement).
Preservation of natural bushlands and use of lookout posts throughout vineyards to support native hawks and eagles (controlling bird species that are harmful to vineyard crops).
Rainwater collection tanks used to supply water to winery and cellar door.
Solar energy used to power approximately 60% of winery and cellar door needs.