919 wines is currently preparing for its first audit for certification to the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia standard. Although we are already organically certified, we are doing this because we have a strong focus on sustainability. We want to leave our properties in the best state possible for the next generation.
This certification focuses strongly on sound environmental and business management practices to ensure diversity and preservation of resources, reduced imprint on the planet and sustainable, viable business structures. This will also continue to assist us in producing the best wines possible from our Riverland region, for our valued customers.
Some of the projects we have been undertaking over the last few years have had a sustainability focus in mind. We have a large re-vegetation project at our Loxton vineyard, where we have planted trees and grasses indigenous to the Riverland landscape. We have also an ongoing native grass project in our 919 vineyard at Glossop.
We are trying to reduce our energy consumption, and have installed a new efficient refrigeration unit for our winemaking facilities. The straw bale construction has excellent insulation properties, requiring minimal heating and cooling to maintain a stable temperature. Watch out for changes to our packaging as we try to reduce our carbon footprint.
We have always tried to minimise our waste, being water efficient in the vineyards and the winery. We send bottles and cardboard to recycling, and re-use cartons wherever possible when we send out orders. Most of our bottle pallets and dividers are returned to the supplier for re-use, and the remainder are re-used in-house. Unfortunately we still produce about 4 cubic meters of plastic waste each year. Our grape marc is composted for several years, and then spread through the vineyard as mulch.
Our first audit is next month, and will be a third-party verification that we have sustainability top of mind with everything we do.