Bec Hardy Wines & Sustainability

For us, ‘sustainability’ is a life long journey that underpins everything we do. At every stage of the business, we reflect on whether we’re acting in a way that is positive for our planet, our flora and fauna, and for the generations that will live beyond us.

My grandmother, Dr Barbara ‘Baba’ Hardy AO was a founding member of the not-for-profit Nature Foundation. Growing up around such an inspirational influence made me super conscious of the responsibility we have to the land around us.

We’re so fortunate to live and work in one of the most beautiful pockets of the world, but we can’t pretend winemaking doesn’t have its impact on the environment. As a small, family business, it can be even harder to operate sustainably, as often the responsible choices are the more expensive ones.  

Here are some of the ways we try to incorporate a philosophy of sustainability in everything we do:

In the vineyards

South Australia has an enviable climate for grape-growing, but as the driest state in the country, vines do on occasion need additional water to thrive. We continue to look at ways to reduce our reliance on irrigation, as well as ways to reduce the use of herbicides and fertilisers.

Our Lot 94 vineyard in Blewitt Spings is dry grown. When Bec's father Geoff, one of Australia's leading viticulturists planted this vineyard around 35 years ago he deliberately didn't install an irrigation system.

Since our acquisition of the vineyard at Tipsy Hill in Blewitt Springs in 2016, we've been reducing our water usage each season as we learn more about the tolerances and behaviour of the vines, gradually moving away from reliance on irrigation.

Sheep grazing in winter and spring reduces the need for herbicides and fertilisers to take care of weeds and young shoots, It also negates the use of fuel and greenhouse gases emissions form running a tractor down the vines. Plus, beetles from sheep dung burrow down below the surface, taking nutirents with them.

In the Cellar Door

The Kitchen @ Bec Hardy has an emphasis on local, seasonal and sustainable. We are fortunate to live in the food bowl that is South Australia and have so much sensational produce on our doorstep, it would be counter- productive to go elsewhere.

All food waste is composted into the garden and herb beds.

At Tipsy Hill

We open our private home and gardens in Blewitt Springs regularly to the public and it’s important that we practice what we preach here.

Plants: We've replaced a lot of the previous owners' European plants that (while beautiful) required a lot of water and pesticides to flourish. We've substituted several with natvie plants, more accustomed to the soil and climate of South Australia, as well as being more drought - and - disease- roof.

Pesticides: We've dramamtically reduced the use of insecticides and will fully eliminate them in 2022 through the major removal of 60 non-native pencil pines, replacing them with the native Lilly Pilly Striaght & Narrow - this will reduce water consuption by a further 5,000 litres per week.

Waste: Tipsy Hill has nine compost bins! We compost all kitchen and garden waste and return this to the garden over time, improving soil health and water retention. Larger gardne waste is mulched, whcih helps retain m moisture in the soil and return nutrients.

Power: We've insatlled sola panels which has the additional benefit of reducing our energy costs by 70%.

In Opreations

Bottling: Our wine labels are made from recycled stock. We’re researching alternatives to wine closures without jeopardising quality, looking for options that have a lesser impact on the earth. We’ve historically used ‘Diam’ closures which eliminate cork taint, but these contain microplastics and glue, which is not compostable.

Packaging: We only use plain cartons, not unnecessarily branding them with laminated panels. We are moving to lighter bottle weights, to reduce glass use and environmental impacts from shipping.

Office: We heavily restrict our use of paper. We use consumer recycled laptops. We are looking to upgrade our vehicles to less fuel consuming options as Australia (as a whole) transitions to a world where electric and hybrid vehicles are more commonplace and practical.

Through Our Partners

I’m a life member and sit on the board of Nature Foundation, and it’s a real privilege to continue my grandmother’s legacy. In 2021, we launched a special limited-edition Shiraz in her honour, with a proportion of the sales going directly to this not-for-profit organisation.