Gibbston Valley began its organic programme in 2010.
Since then we have achieved BioGro organic certification on our School House, China Terrace Pinot Noir and Le Maitre (Home Block) wines. We are also now underway with the conversion of our Red Shed vineyards. Once the Red Shed conversion is complete, all of our Gibbston Valley owned Bendigo vineyards will be farmed 100% organically.
Biodiversity within our vineyards is an essential component of our winemaking philosophy. Cover crops, and even flowering weeds, play a crucial role in supporting vibrant life in and around the vines. In viticulture, cover cropping refers to planting between and under the vines. Cover crops not only increase the biodiversity of the vineyard, but they also protect against soil erosion, improve the water-retention of the soil, and help to control the yield and quality of grapes. Cover crops consist of a plethora of wildflowers such as California poppies, lupin, viola, cosmos, marigolds, soapwort and cornflowers, as well as a mix of native grasses and flowering weeds such as vipers bugloss, clover and mallow, all selected for this specific purpose
Flowering cover crops are planted late spring and mowed at the end of Summer, then another cover crop of soil nutrient enhancement species is planted after harvest and cultivated into the soil early Spring. House-made compost from winemaking waste products is also applied to the vines in Spring. The crops that we plant are chosen specifically because they attract, feed and shelter beneficial insects and animals, and help to control the levels of pests. We are creating a balance of life in our vineyards that helps to support the health of our vines and eliminates the need for chemical inputs.
Tucked away near the idyllic Tom’s Creek the local apiary are carefully placed to support the environment by providing bees a home to pollinate the area.
Harvested honey offers local sustainable honey for use in our winery restaurant.
Central Otago is known as a showcase for New Zealand’s two lizard families, skinks and geckos, both of which live in Gibbston.
Patches of shrub land associated with schist outcrops include native plants that enjoy the hot summers, cold winters and dry conditions of this valley, much like the vines we grown in this region. A conservation area has been created on the northern side of the property above the river’s edge, to allow the population to thrive.
The planting of native wildflowers for sustainable landscapes and creating habitats for wildlife including pollinators and native birds.
Flower and grass breeds are selected to increase the biodiversity of beneficial insects such as rye grass which attracts wasps that control leaf roller caterpillar in the vines and lupins which increase nitrogen in the soil. Take a stroll along the Gibbston Valley Trail and enjoy the plethora of native plants found in the crevices, and bluffs along the way. Listen for the birdsong of Bellbirds & Tui or catch a glimpse of a Silvereye, Blackbird, Skylark or Grey Worbler.
Our strong sustainable and environmentally friendly ethos extends to our restaurant where we locally source ingredients, cultivate a Chefs garden and dispose of organic waste responsibly.
Our chef ’s garden features home grown herbs, fruits, vegetables and edible flowers which all feature in our dishes. Factors such as locality, organic practices and fair trade are taken into account when selecting products and suppliers. Currently now 95% of our ingredients are produced in from New Zealand. Organic waste goes to the on-site worm farm where the by-product is used to fertilize the chefs garden. Remaining organic waste supplements local farmers organic feed.