Here is just a taste of some of Seifried's processes around sustainability -
- Although New Zealand is an island nation, water is viewed very much as a precious and limited resource. In 2002, Hermann identified the need for water self-sufficiency at the Brightwater vineyard. Along with a team of engineers, Hermann designed and developed a huge 170,000mᶟ dam which collects rain water during the winter months. During the growing season, a computer controlled irrigation programme, gravity feeds this stored water back to the vineyard throughout the long, dry summer months when water restrictions are often in place. The Brightwater vineyard is a 70 hectare vineyard which was developed in 1999. As most southern Seifried vineyard location, the Brightwater block is tucked beneath the Richmond ranges and is the most sheltered of all Seifried sites. The stony, gravelly soils mean water stress can be an issue during the warm Nelson summers so having water collection storage facilities means water shortage should never become an issue.
- In the vineyard, Seifried Estate aims to make every tractor pass down the vineyard row as multi-functional and efficient as possible. For example, while trimming the vineyard canopy (prior to bird-netting) in January, each row is trimmed and mowed together - rather than two separate tractor passes. This minimises soil compaction, carbon footprint, fuel use and optimises efficiency.
- Lightweight tractors in the vineyard means a reduction in soil compaction and greater soil aeration.
- Consistent monitoring of weather and soil conditions throughout the vineyards enables Seifried to manage use of machinery in the vineyards to avoid work during wet conditions, which could upset soil structure.
- Identifying potential vineyard locations where spring frosts are improbable is key to Seifried's strategy for vineyard development. The use of helicopters to protect against spring frosts is not necessary at Seifried vineyard locations (or indeed in Nelson vineyard sites).
- Even the winery food scraps from the staffroom are collected and fed to Seifried's very own worm farm. The fabulously rich 'worm juice' and the beautifully composted worm soil is used in the rose garden around the Seifried winery and cellar door.