Sustainability is a highly contested term and one often used with little grounding or context. The reality is that to produce wine, we will inevitably have an impact on the environment, and we are actively working to minimise that impact.
At Grace Farm we have a deep commitment to understanding and enhancing the natural attributes of the property’s unique location, and to that end we have taken the opportunity to have this formally recognised through Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (SWA) certification.
This initiative of the Australian Wine Research Institute is based on Freschare’s Australian Wine Industry Standard of Sustainable Practice (AWISSP), covering best management practices in soil management, water and energy use, waste management, biodiversity and community engagement.
In November 2022, the National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA) conducted an audit of our operations, and in January 2023 we received formal notification we meet the AWISSP standard, meaning that we are now a Certified Member of SWA. Our next audit will be conducted in November 2025.
Some of our sustainability initiatives include:
- Botanical surveys, monitoring, protection and enhancement of remnant vegetation
- Annual invasive weed control, including arum lily, wild olives, wavy gladioli and acacia longifolia.
- Jarrah Dieback (Phytophthora cinnamomi) surveys and management
- Installation of a ‘first flush’ system on the Cowaramup Brook whereby autumn rains bypass the creek dam and flow freely to the ocean, maintaining the natural hydrological cycle.
- Regular monitoring of soil moisture, vine health, soil nutrients, pests and disease to optimise irrigation, vine nutrition and control measures respectively.
- Targeted compost applications and inter-row cover cropping to build soil carbon and improve soil biology.
- Installation of solar panels and batteries to reduce our carbon footprint.
- Biosecurity procedures and signage to reduce the risk of spreading pests, weeds and disease.
We will be continuing to investigate new ways of measuring and reducing our environmental footprint, while also looking for ways to enhance our contribution to the social and economic fabric of the community and industry in which we operate.