Industrious, Engineered Sustainability
Hillersden is a fully sustainable operation and a proud member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand.
In a country isolated by its south pacific geography where 90% of the insects are endemic, as are 80% of our flowering plants, finding the way to introduce a commercially viable vineyard with the smallest impact on the natural ecosystem is a challenge and priority.
As an island nation, agriculture in New Zealand has always thrived by looking to the resources naturally available to us, and Hillersden is no different – except perhaps for the engineered sustainability we added.
Water is the primary resource of any vineyard. The Hillersden reservoir is positioned overlooking the vineyards & lower Wairau Valley from the top of the Hillersden hill. The reservoir is replenished on sunny days using solar powered pumps drawing from the fresh mountain waters of the Wairau River, creating stores to endure the dry, hot summer season. Irrigation over the vineyard is also solar powered and when river supply is low, we kick in the gravity fed irrigation, assisted further by solar pumps that take water to each corner of the vineyard in exact measure.
Our vine rows are lined with recycled timer and steel posts, an environmentally-friendly alternative to new timber products as part of our conscious effort to repurpose the waste often discarded to landfills by other vineyards.
Over the last year, the Hillersden team has been experimenting with organic practices to further reduce our impact on the environment and enhance the natural flavor of our wine. This includes kelp sprays and organic matter fertilizer, as well as a new initiative to replenish the soils with natural healthy microorganisms that have been lost to generations of agriculture pastoral farming.