At Feathertop we take our carbon footprint and the environmental impact of our business practices seriously and when we undertook major renovations on the winery buildings in 2013, it was the opportunity for us to modernise our operations to ensure they were energy efficient to today’s standard.
We are powered by solar energy
In 2014 we installed 250 solar panels that provide 52kw of clean, renewable energy. Our goal is that in the next 2-3 years we will be 100% completely off the grid – so next time when you drink that glass of shiraz, you know you are drinking wine made by the power of the sun!
We recycle all our winery waste water
Water is a critical resource in the wine making process. From cleaning tanks and presses, hosing down floors, cleaning the crusher and hosing out grape bins; during the peak vintage time we can use up to 1200L of water a day – or in other terms – 1L of water for every 1L of wine produced.
To reuse this water, in 2014 we constructed a reed-bed waste water recycling system that is connected from the winery to the dam at the front of the property. All water and yeast and grape matter in the washings runs through a solids collection trap and then through a sand filtration pond and finally through a reed bed pond. The water coming out of the end of this system will be fit for consumption and will pass on into our dam to keep it topped up during the summer months and will be stocked with native fish.
We have revived the diversity of our local native indigenous flora in a truly native Australian winery garden
Through our collaboration with horticulturist, media personality and author Angus Stewart, we are in the process of constructing a multi purpose garden filled with local and wild edible bush plants that will not only service the kitchen, but provide the winery with an Australian context and create a community space accessible from the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail.
The garden is a long term project for the winery and will be done in stages over the next few years. Features of the garden will include:
- Multipurpose and multicultural garden rooms filled large sprays of bright colour using natives like kangaroo paw and native edible plants.
- Plot space for the local community to come and plant their plants and enjoy family activities at the garden’s village green and sunken amphitheatre dam.
- Interpretive displays that reference the cultural impacts of European (cultivator) and Aboriginal (hunter and gatherer) approaches to growing.
- The garden will use the reusable water from the waste water filtration system
We have our own Vineyard Kitchen Garden
Guests staying in our accommodation are likely to spot one of our chefs strolling up to our kitchen garden to harvest the freshest of produce to use in our restaurant that day. The garden is up to 1 acre in size and features tomatoes, zucchinis, pumpkin, kale, artichoke, and an array of herbs. The garden in fact is so productive that as well as supplying the kitchen year round, there’s also enough to supply the Boynton family, or make excess produce in to chutneys, relishes and jams to be sold in the cellar door deli. We are about low food metres, not miles at Feathertop! Accommodation guests are welcome to help themselves to the garden if they are in need of fresh ingredients for their dinner.
Our restaurant kitchen makes a strong contribution to reducing our carbon footprint, operating under a strong environmental policy that includes composting our salad and vegetables on site (our resident pigs and chooks get the pleasure of helping out here!); and the company as a whole recycles all cardboard and glass waste
We bottle our wine on site
All of our vintages are bottled on site, which reduces the need for us to transport bottles, wine, packaging long distances by truck. We also filter all wines onsite (some companies send wine offsite for filtration) and we store all packaged wine onsite, so there is no transportation of any juice or wine until it is being sent to the customer.