See Saw | Organic wines, sustainably grown
"We don't inherit the earth from our Ancestors we borrow it from our children"
Justin and Pip Jarrett’s sustainable and low-impact viticulture and wine making highlights their respect for the local environment. Their family ethos is based on an old American Chief Seattle saying; "We don't inherit the earth from our Ancestors we borrow it from our children".
See Saw wines believe that sustainability and wine making is more than just producing some of Orange’s best certified organically grown grapes. We also go beyond organics, and this is where our efforts in sustainability comes into play on a much larger scale. It is about managing natural resources, being water and energy efficient. Recycling as well as reducing environmental waste and constantly looking for improvement in waste reduction. Part of being a sustainable business not only takes into consideration environmental soundness, but economic feasibility and social equality and impact as well.
On every farm there is a 10kW solar cell system. All other electricity is purchased through a certified renewable energy provider, ensuring zero carbon from our electricity demands.
From vintage 2007, our first vineyard was certified organic as part of a long term plan to embrace sustainability as a core philosophy. All of our wines are certified organic.
UNDER VINE PLANTS
A conventional farming system uses herbicides to control plants under vine, while traditional farming involves the physical removal of plants that grow under vine. Her at See Saw, however, are exploring the option of planting (or allowing) a diverse range of plants that can co-exist with the vineyard. The benefit of this method is improved soil health through an increase in worms, fungi, aeration, water holding potential and an increase in soil carbon. Under vine plants also reduce soil temperature and water run-off. Less water run-off means less erosion and less nutrient loss, therefore less inputs are required (fertilizer).
We have started 6 worm beds as a pilot program to build our own worm casting and worm whizz for the long term goal of soil health. This also ensures our on-farm green waste and paper is being recycled trough the worms.
INCREASING SOIL CARBON
Since 2009 we have set a target of 6% organic carbon. This is measured every three years. The program to increase soil organic carbon involves an annual 10 tonne to the hectare compost application, mid-row sowing with multi-species mixes and a cell grazing system throughout the vineyard - all of which increases soil carbon. We assess the need for the application of compost using drone technology to ensure a variable rate of compost its spread over the farm.
Since purchasing the first property in 1991 we have planted over 1,000 trees, shrubs and native flora. We have identified a biodiversity area on each farm and it has been fenced to encourage the regeneration of Australian bush and native animals including echidnas, wombats, goannas, insects, superb parrots, kangaroos and wallabies.
We have fenced out all our major waterways and as a result, have seen them regain much needed ground cover. This in turn has reduced stream bank erosion. The grass also acts as a filter to ensure only pristine water leaves the property.
The grazing of sheep occurs throughout the vineyard to assist in under vine plant control, reducing the need for slashing. In turn this reduces CO2 emissions, increases carbon and improves soil health through the introduction of different bacteria and fungi from the sheep droppings.
ON FARM WASTE
Every effort is made to ensure all waste is placed in suitable recycling streams. We are working with our suppliers to minimise our receipt of excess packaging. Examples include - the stock piling of soft plastics until there is a viable option for it, grape marc (stalks left over from the wine making process) is used as compost.
We are moving towards light weight bottles and our wine cartons are made from approximately 80% recycled board. All of our packaging is recyclable. We are always investigating more sustainable ways of packaging and we improve our systems when more environmentally-friendly options become available.