Keith Tulloch Wine is a small, family-owned and operated vineyard and winery in the Hunter Valley, Australia. The primary varieties grown are Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz, which are vinified and bottled separately to create a range of estate and single-vineyard wines.
STARTING DATE: 01/07/2017 | ENDING DATE: ongoing
Zero Net Emissions for the on-farm enterprise
Zero Net Emissions for the life cycle of each product
Minimization of gross emissions both on-farm and for the product’s life cycle
Pangolin Associates – Carbon neutral consultant
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries – Biodiversity and native tree planting program
REASON WHY/ MOTIVATION
Viticulture and winemaking are inherently linked to the land and the climate, so we have a deep connection to the natural world that we live and work in. Climate change is affecting us now, so by creating a carbon-neutral product, eliminate our own emissions whilst also providing the option of a more environmentally friendly product to consumers.
DESCRIPTION and STRATEGIES
Keith Tulloch Wine conducts rigorous accounting of its carbon emissions each year, which include not only the on-farm emissions such as from electricity generation, refrigerant gases, fertilizers and diesel from the tractors, but also the entire life cycle of each product including (but not limited to) the carbon footprint of barrels, wine bottles and shipping of wine to customers. This means that each and every product used or purchased by the company must be accounted for not only financially but in terms of its carbon emissions, a time consuming but essential step in realizing the company’s gross emissions and the sources of greenhouse gases both on-farm and in the supply chain.
Once the annual emissions have been calculated, there are the steps of emissions reduction and sequestration which go hand-in-hand. Changes in the supply chain and innovations in the viticultural and winemaking processes can eliminate or reduce emissions that were recorded and identified in the previous year. For example, with the construction of a large solar array (65kw) on the vineyard, the organization eliminated carbon pollution from electricity. This represented a reduction in overall emissions of more than 10%.
If pollution cannot be eliminated with current technology, such as the vineyard’s diesel-powered tractors, we plant trees and cover crops to sequester carbon on the vineyard site, and further offset emissions via carbon markets.
ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR
- Constructing a 65kw solar array, providing a vast majority of our power
- Changing our waste mix to maximise paper, cardboard, aluminium and plastic recycling
- Eliminating single-use plastics by changing to biodegradable or recyclable alternatives
- Changing all lighting to LED, reducing electricity use
- Installing efficient plumbed CO2 lines for wine storage, minimising CO2 waste
- Purchase of an electric forklift to be charged with solar power, reducing LPG use
- New winery and irrigation processes and fittings to make water use more efficient
- Changing glassware to lighter weight glass with a lower carbon footprint, which also reduces emissions from shipping wines
- Using only organic fertiliser in the vineyard, recycling chicken manure and avoiding chemical fertilisers
- Growing Winter cover crops in the vineyard midrows that fix nitrogen and carbon in the soil
Emissions reduction does not have to be expensive. Many of the investments that Keith Tulloch Wine has made in emissions reduction have already repaid themselves in reduced costs or will be highly profitable in the long run. Taking a short-sighted approach to reducing carbon emissions will often prevent organisations and individuals taking positive steps and harm profitability in the long run. Consumers who are aware of Keith Tulloch Wine’s carbon neutral program become enthusiastic supporters of emissions-saving measures and environmentally friendly initiatives, becoming ambassadors for the winery and it’s ecological responsibility.
Keith Tulloch Wine has reduced its gross carbon emissions by more than 30% since 2017, a significant improvement within three years. This reduction in overall emissions has reduced the amount of sequestration and offsetting required each year to remain carbon neutral, opening up possibilities for further investment in emissions reduction as new technology becomes available. There are further savings to be made across the farm and product life cycle, particularly as more carbon neutral or lower-emission alternatives and suppliers become available. Keith Tulloch Wine will continue to reduce its gross emissions on an annual basis whilst turning its day-to-day focus on improving soil health and pursuing biodiversity projects in the vineyard.
POTENTIAL FOR REPLICATION
It is important that other vineyards and the wider agricultural industry implement strategies for emissions reduction in the short term and target carbon neutrality in the medium to long term. Keith Tulloch Wine is a small business with limited resources, however managed to implement changes that eliminated its carbon footprint whilst increasing profitability at the same time. The potential for successful replication across the wine industry is profound.