At Twisted Gum wines we believe that sustainability should be a core aspect of all that we do.
In the vineyard we have adopted many practices with this in mind:
Our three hectares of vines are planted in eight small blocks surrounded by native bushland. We hence have no need to apply insecticides. The many birds which live in the eucalypt forest surrounding our vineyard blocks control caterpillars and various other insects, while native wasps help control scale insects.
We do not irrigate our vines at all when they are producing fruit. This leads to low yields (usually less than four tonnes per hectare) but also has many advantages. By not irrigating we control the vigor in the grape vine, producing a nice open canopy which allows breezes and sunlight to help control disease and also fully ripen the fruit - producing small quantities of high quality grapes with amazing flavours.
We use minimal sulphur in our wines. This is possible because we pick our grapes by hand in the cool of the morning and then have them immediately crushed before any spoilage is possible.
We only use those grapes grown in our vineyard. This is why we use the term "single vineyard" on all of our wines. This way we can be sure that all grapes used in our wines are produced without pesticides or irrigation.
We also try to use recycled materials whenever we can:
We used old second hand windows and doors when we renovated the holiday cottage.
We used an entire second hand house when we built our cellar door using an old 1920s Queenslander that we transported 250kms from Logan (see photo to the right).
We use composted materials from local feedlots as fertiliser.
We use green waste mulch obtained from tree trimming contractors for mulching under vines.
The proximity of the bush also encourages healthy populations of frogs and lizards that feast on the insects in our vineyard.
The key is the use of small blocks of vines which encourages a more natural environmental balance, that is simply not possible in larger "mono-cultural" agricultural operations without the aid of pesticides.
We also do many activities by hand. All pruning, hedging, canopy management and picking is done by hand.
We spread large amounts of mulch under vines (see photo to the left). This helps suppress weeds, improve soil health and structure and also means that the vines make better use of the rainfall that they rely upon by reducing evaporation.
In wine making we also seek sustainable options:
We use OI Lean and Green Light Weight Bottles which are a low carbon option in manufacturing and and also in transportation.
We have also chosen to invest in two solar power PV systems:
We have a 5kw ground mounted system near our holiday cottage (see photo above).
And we have another 5kw roof mounted system on our insulated wine storage shed (see photo to the left).
This total of 10kw often provides more power than we need for our operations, so we export the excess to the grid.