In today’s world, you can’t run a business without giving comprehensive thought to its environmental impact, at a local level and from a global standpoint.
We are incredibly proud of the sustainability, organic and conservation initiatives that are happening along Seppeltsfield Road in our beautiful slice of the Barossa Valley.
We love hearing about compostable packaging and radically reducing single-use plastics, the implementation of organic and biodynamic principles, the construction of eco-buildings, revegetating local areas, and successfully being off grid.
We invite you to delve deeper into these success stories to gain a true appreciation of the commitment and hard work involved. It also makes for great conversation starters when you next visit Seppeltsfield Road.
Izway Wines celebrate success of being completely off-grid
Speak to the winemakers at Izway Wines, and they won’t make too much fuss over what they do – because to them, it is simply part of their life and wine philosophy.
Beginning with declaring their off-grid, battery powered solar system a roaring success! The power generated runs the winery, office and cellar door and they rarely dip below 90% full batteries.
Not only was this a philosophical decision, but also the cleanest and most cost-effective. Amazingly, the cost of going off-grid was 50% less than connecting conventional power to their winery and cellar door site. With South Australia now experiencing the highest power prices in the world, the leap of faith has certainly paid off.
After going to great lengths to ensure that the equipment and all buildings were extremely efficient, the final piece of infrastructure to add is an underground barrel store. This will require zero power to control the temperature and the humidity will be ideal for storing and maturing wine.
Their philosophy and environmental compassion extends into the vineyard, where their grape mark is shared with winemaking neighbours, Two Hands Wines, who use it in the adjacent Holy Grail Vineyard. Another brilliant example of the Seppeltsfield Road business working together.
Compostable capsules, minimal waste and community aid creates the perfect blend for Barossa Coffee Roasters
With billions of coffee pods going to landfill every year since their inception in 2006 – it’s no secret that there is world-wide concern over the impact created from convenience.
The team at Barossa Coffee Roasters believe in “building bridges rather than throwing stones”, so have taken deliberate action and are now excited to announce they can offer great-tasting, high quality coffee in a compostable capsule.
A huge improvement on the original capsules that can take up to 500 years to break down!
They spent 18 months testing and tweaking their capsules to create an offering to be proud of. Filled to the brim with environmental credibility and a refinement of flavour that speaks of their signature roasting style.
Their commitment to waste reduction extends to their manufacturing – with a ‘Roast to order’ business model. Rather than mass producing and storing in a warehouse, they roast on demand to avoid the trappings of excess wastage.
Barossa Coffee Roasters are utterly devoted to their ‘freshness philosophy’ – believing coffee is at its best within 4 weeks of roast date, after which the natural oils in the beans start to turn rancid.
As such, they remove coffee after this age from the supermarket shelf and put it to great use, redistributing it to local community groups in the Barossa and beyond, for use in crisis talks, meetings and much more.
Supporting the Scarecrow competition for the upcoming Barossa Vintage Festival is yet another great community initiative from the Barossa Coffee Roasters team.
Hewitson Wines strengthen their commitment to carbon neutrality
Dean Hewitson, owner and chief winemaker at Hewitson Wines, is thrilled to announce the completion and connection to the grid of the second installation of solar panels on the winery roofs that triple their capacity to generate power from the sun.
As he glowingly remarks, “Over Christmas we received our first cheque back from our energy partner, putting more power back into the grid than we were using.”
This strengthens their commitment to carbon neutrality, minimises their environmental impact and takes a truly sustainable winemaking approach through nature.
Premium winemaking converges with organic principles at Torbreck
The team at Torbreck continue to refine their entire process – from grape to glass – to reduce their carbon footprint and align their winemaking with organic and bio-dynamic principles.
All Torbreck grapes are sourced locally from family grown and estate grown properties within 20km of their winery. Many of their vineyards are completely dry grown and some date back to the mid 1850’s, with the oldest vines nearly 170 years old!
The Barossa Valley’s Mediterranean climate – cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers are ideal conditions for Torbreck growers to employ sustainable and organic practices, such as mowing, minimal tillage, permanent self-seeding mid row crops, mulches for soil conservation, weed suppression and moisture retention.
Canopy and soil management are minimised to an organic regime applying composted manures and seaweed based extracts.
Much thought has been given to water and energy use – their roof area collects rainwater for use throughout the winery and offices. Winery waste water is also collected and re-used on vineyards. Torbreck’s energy is also off-set by a 175kw solar installation and natural lighting.
Whilst not yet certified organic or biodynamic, their winemaking aligns with organic practices. Minimal additions are made to the wines with no fining or filtration used in our winemaking, making their entire range vegan-friendly.
The packaging practices for their end product include recycling of plastic, glass and paper whilst sourcing glass, cardboard boxes and labels from local suppliers.
Breathing life into the discarded is an art-form at JamFactory
When you next visit the JamFactory at Seppeltsfield in the refurbished Seppeltsfield estate horse stables, look for the many sustainable elements.
As well as giving a new life to this historic building, the team has repurposed vinegar vats for storage units and repurposed slate floor panels, to name just a few details.
One of the current artists-in-residence is jeweller Sue Garrard, who transforms reclaimed and recycled materials including metals, Tupperware, buttons and pot and pans in her jewellery and installation work.
Hayes Family Wines poised to toast their first organic vintage
Hayes Family Wines are proud to be currently undergoing organic certification.
A true boutique producer, the Hayes winemaking team “do a lot of work by hand, we work hard so we need to add less.“ All blocks are hand pruned, hand picked and managed with extreme care and attention to detail.
Their vineyards span the western and northern reaches of the Barossa Valley and are managed organically.
In fact, this vintage is the first that they will produce organic wines with every step of the winemaking process utilising organic principles.
They are unwavering in their commitment to organic farming with minimal intervention –there are no pesticides and no herbicides. They also take a low intervention approach to the end product – they do not apply fining agents that are animal derived and hence their wines are vegan.
Overall, Hayes Family Wines are committed to producing the best wines that the season allows from some of the best possible terroir the region has to offer.
Sustainability is key at Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage
Your hosts at Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage, Sharyn and Peter, are committed to providing you with a memorable experience that focuses on protecting the environment and allows you to travel responsibly, with little impact.
But they also believe that sustainability is more than just protecting the surrounding natural environment, it must also encompass the social and economic impact. They are intent on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
They proudly publicise their sustainability practices, which includes a comprehensive approach to water usage. A 50,000 litre lined underground rainwater tank supplies the cottage, and then any cottage waste water is recycled onto the cottage gardens via a Septek system.
Another great example of their commitment to minimal impact was the discovery of a 100 year old deep bath, which was lovingly restored, rather than installing a spa.
As they will tell you, the early German settlers knew about energy conservation even back in the 1850s! The cottage is designed with an east west orientation and deep verandahs on the north and south sides. In summer no direct sun enters the cottage, and combined with the 45cm thick stone walls and the 10cm thick pug ceiling in the living room, ambient room temperatures are easily maintained in all seasons minimising the need for heating and cooling.
Guest food supplies are sourced locally with an emphasis on regional, seasonal produce. Artisan food products made with local ingredients are supplied to guests as are those with a heritage value.
Guests are also encouraged to shop at the local Barossa Farmer’s Market and to enjoy many high quality experiences along Seppeltsfield Road within 6 kilometres of the cottage.
Environmentally responsible architecture at its best at The Villas – Barossa
Located in the heart of Seppeltsfield Road, The Villas – Barossa offer immaculately designed, yet environmentally sensitive accommodation in a striking bush setting. On the front deck you’ll feel as if you’re in the treetops, admiring the distant views to their neighbours’ vineyards and olive groves.
Owners, Grant and Cathy, are passionate about safeguarding the environment and community, so went to incredible lengths to ensure minimal impact was involved in building these shining examples of environmentally responsible architecture.
The Villas have the fingerprints of friends, family, neighbours and local trades, and as Grant would later reflect, ‘a community created these Villas’.
They have adopted a range of environmentally sensitive practices to ensure that The Villas – Barossa continue to be ecologically responsible.
This includes extensive recycling, double glazed windows, use of passive solar design and structural design to optimise heating and cooling, energy-efficient lighting, rain water and the installation of wastewater treatment facility.
They always source local produce as first priority, and look to bulk to minimise packaging waste. This includes the bulk dispensers of fellow Seppeltsfield Road resident, Vasse Virgin, amenities rather than single-use containers, thus reducing waste. As does the use of Barossa Coffee Roasters for locally-roasted, organic plunger coffee.
Laughing Jack Wines place huge emphasis on regeneration
Shawn Kalleske is chief winemaker for Laughing Jack Wines, and has always had a keen interest in conservation and in particular ornithology.
After he purchased a 70 acre property in the Barossa from his father in 2001, he immediately began to allow 15 acres to naturally regenerate.
It is home to an abandoned quarry, which now acts as a beautiful, natural water catchment aiding in the regeneration of many trees and attracting stunning wildlife. Shawn and wife Briony are excited to have now recorded 70 species of native plants (some rare), 66 species of birds and numerous reptiles in this area.
In 2016, Laughing Jack Wines joined forces with the NRM to revegetate another 5 acres and over the course of three years planted 3,000 trees, shrubs and grasses all native to this area. This year has been most challenging with such a hot summer following the dry winter. A shining example of their dedication is having to hand water 1,000 trees five times, using approximately 10,000 litres of rain water per watering.
The latest project for these Barossa eco-warriors was planting 150 native salt bush plants specifically designed as a reptile habitat with large rocks still to be placed.
Shawn also recognises the importance of wildlife connections in their vineyards. Christmas Bush has been planted extensively to harbour beneficial insects. By 2020, they hope to have a minimum of 30% of their property back to natural vegetation.
They run their vineyards as naturally as possible with no nasty pesticides or insecticides and look forward to becoming legally recognised as organic in due course.
Whistler Wines delve deep into organic and biodynamic practices
The popular range of Whistler Wines are made from grapes grown on their property, using Organic practices – and now with the recent introduction of biodynamic practices as well.
A perfect example of this is the large flock of geese who freely roam the property as weed and pest controllers. In addition, under-vine weeds are bladed off with the old practice of ‘dodging’ with adaptions made to the tractor.
An impressive 3,000 ‘Trees for Life’ seedlings have been planted on the property, including upper and lower storey vegetation, to encourage wildlife and biodiversity. This has also created a green corridor that allows for wildlife, such as koalas, to move through the area.
Waste has come under scrutiny also, with a well-honed recycling system for all bottles, cans, paper and cardboard. Food waste is collected to feed the chickens, geese and wild birds. The installation of an “Aussie Clean” water system recycles all of their water waste for the gardens.
Solar panels have been installed on the winery roof to run the winery, and their eco-friendly intentions have also extended into their catering and events, with the use of environmentally friendly plates and cutlery. There has also been a significant reduction in single use plastics for the larder and replacement of plastic straws with paper straws.
A plastic bag ban is in full effect at Whistler Wines, with paper bottle bags only offered when needed.
Going forward, they have an honourable aim, to “make our property as sustainable as possible, giving more back to the vineyard by improving soil health and limiting inputs in the winery to make our wines as natural as possible”.
Cleaning up Seppeltsfield Road for 14 years in a row
Since 2006, our SRBA members have proudly banded together to officially participate in ‘Clean Up Australia Day.’
The original team has now grown to an eager group of 40 residents and neighbours, who cover 25km by cleaning the roadside of our beloved Seppeltsfield Road and connecting roads.
Each year, Whistler Wines have been gracious hosts – for the meeting point beforehand, and for all participants to come and celebrate their efforts with Happy Hour after. We are also grateful to the Light Regional Council who contribute by providing a large trailer and dispose of the rubbish for us.
Even the 2016 heatwave didn’t stop the enthusiasm. When the official day was cancelled due to extreme heat, the SRBA organised an ‘e-cleanup’ – emailing all participating members and neighbours for them to clean up a designated section of the road.
Come and discover Seppeltsfield Road’s sustainability for yourself
Whether you join us for a day trip, make a weekend of it or indulge in a longer family holiday, we hope you enjoy engaging with the special collection of businesses who call Seppeltsfield Road home.
With so many amazing examples of the dedication they have to employing sustainable practices to preserve the beauty and heritage of the Barossa Valley, we are sure you will have plenty to talk to them about!
Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram with #seppeltsfieldroad. We love seeing what made your time on Seppeltsfield Road inspiring.