The environment

At Mt Surmon we address sustainability considerations in all aspects of our vineyard management, wine making and marketing. Our vineyard management is based on ecologically sustainable development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

From inception 18 years ago, Mt Surmon Vineyard management has been guided by a systematic approach to biologically sound and environmentally sustainable principles and practices. These principles and practices resonate strongly with our environmental responsibilities.

Principles:

  • natural resource securitity
  • maintaining ecological integrity
  • addressing greenhouse gas emissions
  • reduce resource consumption to reduce waste and unwanted by-product
  • holistic, systematic and proactive emphasis
  • continuous monitoring for improving environmental performance.
These principles are transposed into management practices based on efficient use of resource imputs covering:
  • water use
  • salinity mitigation
  • pollution mitigation
  • soil enhancement
  • low chemical use
  • measurement and evaluation of performance
  • annual reviews
  • energy efficiency.
For people concerned about global warming:
  • A 10 Kw photovoltaic cell solar electricity generating system provides all the electricity for the vineyard, cellar door and house. The balance is purchased by a Greenpower energy supplier.
  • Our seldom-used air conditioning units are evaporative cooling systems.
  • For the past 18 years we have been a member of Trees for Life. We plant 500 treelings each year as a contribution to Planet Ark's program thus helping to compensate for emissions from our small vehicle and the machines used in the vineyard, to add diversity and as shelter for native birds and animals.
  • Chemical use in the vineyard is kept to a minimum consisting mainly of copper and sulphur. Herbicide use is kept to a bare minimum. Insecticides are not used. 
  • Use of sheep for weed control for five months of the year
  • We understand that water is a precious resource. Our buildings use tank water only.
  • Bore and dam water is used in the vineyard, sparingly. We regularly underuse the allocation allowed under our water licence.
  • Our waste water is treated in an on'site septic system which drains to the environment away from the vineyard.
  • Bottles, cans and paper products are recycled via Apex and Rotary.
  • Our wines are made at contracting wineries which must observe EPA regulations covering environmental responsibility.
  • Our 'Jayne Lane Australian Garden for a Hard Place' has won the regional 'Water Wise Garden Competition'. As a generalization, we do not water our garden which consists of plants native to the area along with some drought tolerant species such as agapanthus and agave.
  • The large pots are watered from waste water - running cold water off in the shower and kitchen sink along with tea and coffee pot dregs.
All of this adds up to high quality environmental practice.
'We're like no other'