“Look after the soil and the soil will look after you!”
We believe a regenerative approach to enhancing soil health improves water use efficiency, reduces the reliance on synthetic chemicals and overall improves grape and wine quality.
Sustainability Management objectives:
- Trending towards organic fertilizers and non-chemical weed control techniques to manage vine health, inter-vine groundcover, build soil ecology, increase soil health through under vine cultivation as well as mid row cropping.
- Use strategic grazing techniques (predominantly sheep) to manage weeds and build soil health amongst the vineyard.
- Create diverse, functional inter row cover crops to increase soil health and diversity.
- Implement baseline beneficial athropod monitoring
- Monitor and control weeds impacting vine production.
- Introduce runner ducks/or geese to manage snail numbers impacting vines.
- Summer cropping in hay paddocks to provide beneficial insectary habitat, but also increase organic matter, improve soil health, improve crop diversity, herbicide resistant week control.
- Restore creek lines, dam surrounds and drainage lines to native vegetation by continuing removal of woody and grassy weeds (arum lily, willow suckers, broom, wild olive, phalaris and blackberry) and implementing further replanting programs, including beneficial insect species such as Prickly Tea Tree Leptospermum continentale and SA Christmas bush Bursaria spinosa along buffers.
- Improve habitat diversity for woodland bird, microbats and beneficial insect species by creating native vegetation stepping stones/refuges (grasslands, woodlands, riparian) across the property. Include key revegetation species, i.e. SA Christmas bush Bursaria spinosa, various native grasses and common oak-bush Allocasuarina muelleriana ssp muelleriana.
- Create a wildflower insectary garden with a diverse range of colourful native understorey seedlings, which look good and demonstrate the importance of diversity in the vineyard.
Flows for the Future participants
As a productive and sustainable business we need healthy water catchments. The Flows for the Future Program aims to improve the health and resilience of catchments in the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges (EMLR). The design and restoration of ‘low flows’ on dams and watercourse diversions, the program is restoring more natural stream flows throughout the stream systems that bring life to the EMLR. There are more than 8000 damns in the EMLR alone. These devices allow low flows of water to pass around dams into the streamline below during natural periods of flow (via rainfall, run off etc). Low flows are crucial for sustaining a minimum level of catchment health. We know that one of the biggest causes of deteriorating health in the Mount Lofty Ranges is the absence of low flows and the Flows for the Future program is working hard to reinstate this critical water flow pattern. We have completed this installation with the Government of South Australia.
Foundation Member with Hills Biodiversity Program
Hills Biodiversity utilises experienced bush carers to guide and assist the protection of remnant native vegetation, removal of pest species in order to increase native biodiversity.
Stage 1: 2020 Completed removal of foreign species from our water course at Howard Vineyard
Stage 2: 2021 Commitment to plant 1200 native bushes and trees per year for the next 3 years at Howard Vineyard or our Beautiful Valley vineyard. To replace the non-native species and replace lost flora from the Adelaide Hills bushfire.
The Hills Biodiversity group is mobilising to prevent species loss across the Adelaide Hills region. This specifically aligns with our planned increase in vineyard size of roughly 15000 vines to be planted per year for the next 3 years.
Wildlife for Wine
In conjunction with Hills Biodiversity, Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board and Government of South Australia.
At Howard Vineyard, over the past 20 years we have built a reputation for premium grape growing in the Adelaide Hills; one of Australia’s most exciting regions. As winemakers we understand that working with nature is paramount, as we continue to grow grapes more holistically, building soil health and restoring landscape ecology. As a family owned wine company, we are committed to ensuring we act in a responsible and sustainable manner by applying a holistic approach to environmental management we aim to achieve sustainable land and biodiversity management outcomes for the present and the future.
Over the past 20 plus years, the community has supported us through thick and thin, through bushfires and global pandemics. Without our community support we would not be where we are today. We have selected some organisations that align with our company values, goals and motivations, and have developed ongoing relationships with them, in a small effort to give back to our community.
8 Year Partnership with Can: Do4Kids
Can: Do4Kids formed in 1874 to provide support and services to children, young people and their families, who are blind, deaf, have low vision, are hard of hearing, or have sensory needs. To help support raising proceeds for this incredible charity we have partnered up as their Major Wine Sponsor for their Dinner in the Dark event since 2014. Dinner in the Dark is the flagship fundraising event for Can: Do4Kids. Entering a world where your notion of taste and smell are tested. . . for a good cause. A mystery three-course menu combines innovative textures and flavours, showcasing the best South Australia has to offer and igniting the senses. Being the Major Wine Sponsor for this event has been an immense privilege.
Anzac Day Trade donated to Legacy & Blaze Aid
Legacy offer support to returning service men and women and their families. Anzac Day is not a usual day of trade for Howard Vineyard, however in 2021 we decided to throw open the doors for a full day of trade. With the decision to donate a portion of the revenue generated on this day to be donated to Legacy. This was a small token of our thanks for the assistance we received from the men and women at the Woodside Army Barracks in the wake of the recent bushfires in the Adelaide Hills.
Blaze Aid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods. Working alongside the rural families, volunteers help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed. Blaze Aid came to the assistance after the 2019 Adelaide Hills Bushfires and as a small token of our appreciation 50% of the of the revenue generated on Anzac Day 2022 was donated to Blaze Aid.
Cystic Fibrosis Australia
Cystic Fibrosis Australia is the peak consumer body for people living with cystic fibrosis. They focus on collaborative programs and research, funding partnerships and advocacy. Everyone at CFA is committed to improving clinical practice and patient outcomes with the aim of extending life expectancy from 47-55 years by 2025. CFA supports the broad CF community through advocacy across Australia and is now a subject matter expert for government, industry and the media. As they are not government funded CFA rely solely on the generosity and support of our community. The 65 Roses Ball is the biggest fundraising and awareness event for Cystic Fibrosis, annually raising over $80,000. Howard Vineyard donates wine to this ball each year to help support raising more funds for this incredible charity that is close to our hearts.
Make a Wish Foundation – Make-A-Wish exist to bring amazing people together to grant inspirational, life-changing wishes for children with a critical illness. Work in partnership with sick children, their families and medical teams to design and deliver wishes that are as unique as the children who imagine them. No two wishes are alike – but every wish transforms the lives of those involved, from children themselves to their family, friends, the wish team and wider community. We had the pleasure of donating wine to the Make-a-wish Ball to help support the amazing efforts of this charity.
Variety – The Children’s Charity supports kids and families who are facing many challenges through sickness, disadvantage or living with disability. Their work allows kids to gain mobility, to get out and about in the community, to communicate, achieve independence and increase their self-esteem. We had the pleasure of supporting their major event with a wine donation.
Ongoing Silver Sponsorship of Nairne Football Club
Ongoing Sponsorship of Old Collegians Rugby Club
Ongoing Sponsorship of Glenelg Cricket Club
Multiple wine donations for various charities/worthy causes each year