Belgrave Park Winery, a boutique winery on the south coast of New South Wales, has just become completely carbon neutral, Wine eBiz reports.
As owner and winemaker Warwick Adams says, “Even though wine is a completely natural product, growing grapes and producing wine does cause carbon emissions. We wanted to do our bit for the planet by becoming more green, and have now achieved a zero carbon footprint. This makes us one of only a handful of wineries in Australia to reach this target.”
Belgrave Park, with assistance from the AusIndustry “Re-tooling for Climate Change” program, has implemented a range of carbon-reduction measures, including installing a 3kW grid-connected solar power system, using 100 percent “GreenPower” renewable energy for all other power and the planting of more than 700 trees.
Developing the carbon-reduction strategy began with an audit of existing carbon emissions using the Australian Wine Carbon Calculator. This enables a winery to assess its carbon footprint across the total process, from the grapevines through to the bottled wine.
“Even though we were already aware of most of our CO2 emitters such as power and fuel, the life cycle analysis was a surprise in some respects,” says Warwick. “For example, I had no idea that glass bottles were so energy-intensive. There also were many other small contributors that I hadn’t thought about before, such as fertilizer usage, cardboard cartons and even screwcaps, which all added to the total winery footprint.”
Warwick firmly believes that the costs involved in becoming carbon neutral have been worthwhile. “People are very interested in the environment and climate change these days,” he notes. “This gives us a real marketing edge – a competitive advantage. Plus, I hope it provides a model for other wineries and small businesses in our area to grab hold of.”