As farmers, looking after the land for future generations is important to us. Our ‘estate grown- estate made’ ethos minimizes our carbon footprint and contributes to what makes us unique.
Estate Grown – Estate Made
LEADING THE WAY
Margan Wines & Restaurant is certified through Sustainable Winegrowers Australia, 2019. This means we farm in a way that does not deplete natural resources or compromise the land for future generations. Our goal is long term ecological balance.
From the very start we have always believed that as farmers and current custodians of this land we have a responsibility to look after it so that future generations will also be able to enjoy it.
In 2010 we took a more structured and measurable approach to how we farmed our land and developed an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to reduce our impact across all business operations. This has involved a clear and detailed strategy to measure and reduce our emissions via the four basic pillars of sustainability: reduction of greenhouse gases; energy efficiency; waste reduction and water management.
Our entire team are involved in supporting and maintaining our EMP.
OUR ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT
In 2013 our EMP became certified under the Freshcare and Winemakers Federation Australia Entwine Program. It benchmarks to the ISO14000 series for International best practice in environmental stewardship. We were the first in the Hunter to achieve this and are considered leaders in this field. This covers all business operations including vineyard, winery, restaurant and hospitality and considers the impact these have on the environment. Data is tracked and reported yearly, as well as stringent auditing from Fresh Care every 3 years. Our EMP is certified by an external auditor.
In 2019 this accreditation was updated to Sustainable Winegrowers Australia and Freshcare membership. Freshcare are accreditors of the Australian fresh food Industry.
Our next goal is to become carbon neutral and to offset the amount of emissions that can’t be reduced any further. We choose to not achieve this simply through purchasing carbon off-sets which would see us carbon neutral almost immediately. Many of these companies are not Australian and the money goes to offshore projects. We want the carbon benefit to stay close to where the emission was produced, so we have started planting native tree lots and regenerating our local riverbanks.
Currently we employ several organic and biodynamic farming practices, but we are not certified.
In the vineyard we minimise sprays especially of pesticides and herbicides and we limit copper and sulphur use as recommended by organic and biodynamic farming practices. We focus on maximising vine and soil health by reducing disease, weeds and pests in the vineyard. Mulching and cover crops reduce weeds, keeps the soil moist as well as adding organic matter to enrich it.
The Margan Restaurant Kitchen Garden was established in 2007 and has always followed organic garden principals, although remains uncertified as it sits adjacent to the vineyard which is not certified.
As of 2020 we will start converting our entire Broke property to Organic. It is all a huge commitment and an ongoing journey, and we get better at it each year.
Lisa and Andrew Margan
WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE
Our EMP objectives and targets exceed regulatory obligations. We go above and beyond. For extra details on how we reduce our carbon footprint and the highlights of our Environmental Management Plan to support Sustainable Farming.
Across the Business
- The reduction of freight and ‘food miles’ by adopting an Estate Grown ethos. We have 100 hectares of vineyards and extensive Restaurant Kitchen Garden produce which is all grown on site.
- Annual energy audit of all operations and upgrades for energy saving. 30Kw solar power system to reduce the use of coal fired electricity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Eco efficient lighting and off-peak electricity to reduce energy use by 40%.
- Irrigation water is taken from large dams on the property.
- Rainwater captured from all roofs is filtered and provides water to the winery and restaurant.
- All roof water is recycled through a grey water recycling system and used for gardens.
- Waste to landfill reduction across the business via a detailed recycling system where paper, cardboard, glass, green waste and plastics are all recycled.
- Planting native trees on the riverbanks of the property to better manage erosion and offset carbon emissions.
- The Margan restaurant, cellar door, barrel room and administration building is constructed from energy efficient rammed earth, sourcing limestone gravel locally from Broke.
The Vineyard & Winery
- We adopt a Sustainable Farming approach to our vineyards where our vinicultural practices support long term ecological balance and don’t deplete natural resources.
- The vineyard uses minimal synthetic sprays for weed, pest and disease maintenance.
- Improving soil fertility by maintaining and building a fertile living soil through organic matter inputs such as green manures, composts and cover crops.
- With vineyards it is impossible to rotate crops (vines live to be very old) but we rotate cover crops for diversity. We rotate garden beds In the Kitchen Garden.
- Mulching the vineyard to reduce herbicides use.
- Winter crops planted mid row to put more carbon back into the soil and reduce soil erosion.
- Looking to be sustainable for generations to come, we have pioneered planting varieties better suited to global warming such as Barbera, Tempranillo, Mourvedre and Albarino. These varieties are more drought resistant and can maintain their natural acidity when ripening under hot conditions. We can then take a ‘hands off’ approach in the winery.
- All fruit is grown on Margan vineyards either adjacent to the winery or close by allowing a lower carbon footprint (fuel, freight etc.) compared to wineries that buy fruit from external vineyards.
- Cartons are all Australian made from recycled cardboard.
- 40% of Margan wine is bottled in OI “lean and green” range of light weight bottles, which is 45% lighter than the same product from their other ranges resulting in less greenhouse emissions during production, saving 234g of CO2 per bottle.
- To minimise the consumption of water for cleaning and pushing wine through, products are recycled and reused, or low volume/high pressure is used.
- The winery roof is fully insulated, ensuring better energy efficient.
- We have adapted VDS (Variable speed drives) to our winery refrigeration plant to optimise the efficiency of the cooling system resulting in a lower consumption of energy during peak periods, approximate saving 40%. on energy.
- We bottle white wines soon after vintage enabling us to completely turn our fridge plant off for 9 months of the year, resulting in a reduction greenhouse gas emissions and reduction of energy costs by 50%.
- Use of crystal inhibitors for tartrate stabilisation rather than the traditional cold method allows us to achieve stabilisation without excessive cooling to minus temperatures, ability to run the brine at a higher temperature saving on energy consumption.
- Onsite warehousing facilities reduces the carbon footprint through the transportation of wines.
- As the pioneers of Agri-dining in the Hunter Valley we are continually expanding our range of estate grown produce. We craft our menus around the harvest from our one-hectare kitchen garden & orchard to maintain a hyper-local and truly seasonal focus. This includes fruit and vegetables from our one-hectare Restaurant Kitchen Garden which supplies close to 90% of the restaurants’ needs, including free range eggs, honey, olives and lambs from our flock of Suffolk sheep. This reduces our carbon footprint dramatically.
- We love to champion the quality produce of the region and so choose to collaborate with local farm gate producers for fruits and vegetables, olive oil, poultry, milk and biodynamically raised animals.
- We are firm believers in respectful animal husbandry and all the meat we serve has been raised humanely and sustainably. Our ‘nose to tail’ philosophy shows respect for the entire animal utilising prime cuts as well as secondary ones with our own charcuterie production.
- The Hunter Valley used to be an ancient seabed millions of years ago but now we are an inland region. For seafood we source from the coast of Newcastle and Port Stephens and only use sustainable species.
- Colour coded bin systems in the kitchen to recycle all waste.
- Processing restaurant green waste via compost systems, chickens and worm farms.
- The garden is hand worked and managed using organic and bio dynamic farming principals with a minimum of synthetic pesticides, weedicides and fertilisers.
- Recycle kitchen oil for Bio diesel.
- Closed loop composter recycles all protein-based food waste into a composted material that is then returned to the soil as a nutrient source.
- Glass crusher recycles all glass bottles into a sand that it reused on the driveway at the estate.
- Grey water is treated and reused on the paddocks within the estate.
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