We practise regenerative ag here at Tinja. This includes methods such as planting multi-species cover crops throughout the vineyards & paddocks, crash grazing with our small livestock heard (destined for Zin) and making our own biodynamic compost to feed the soil. By implementing these practises alongside organics & biodynamics, we’re able to encourage healthy micro & macro organisms to flourish in chemical free environments – key to a healthy, lasting ecosystem.
Tinja plays host to a diverse range of native flora & fauna, yet today, this is only a glimpse of what it once was. To help these native species thrive free from interference, our agreement with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust secures 32 hectares (10% of our farm) as a protected wildlife sanctuary. In the paddocks especially affected by erosion, our partnership with Nathan Lovett (owner of Naway Yila Buradja) is working to reintroduce natives such as saltbush, pepperberry, river mint, black wattle and more, as a means of stabilising the land and providing habitat for native birds & wildlife.
Although we’re working to make our footprint a regenerative one, it’s undeniable that the climate in Mudgee is set to become warmer & drier in the coming years. Our long-established French variety vines are unirrigated and thus hardy, but as we have begun expanding our Tinja vineyards, we are using more drought, heat & disease resistant varieties helming from Italy & the Mediterranean to face the challenges impacting us already. These have been planted on a contour (no more straight rows) to maximise rainfall retention and stop erosion.
We grow the majority of everything we create here on Tinja. For anything we can’t do ourselves, we source as close to home as possible from people & businesses that share our ethos. Not only does this support our local community, but also helps reduce the carbon footprint connected to long distance transport. Additionally, we are working to expand our educational programs to help empower others in the community to take these sustainability & farming practises into their own homes or businesses.
Across all areas of LFWC we look to first reduce what ends up as waste. Next, we work to reuse would-be-waste in its current form. Food scraps head to our chooks/composts, our cellar kitchen uses reusable glass containers for our house-made platter products and kegged wines are being trialled for tasting stock. What can’t be reused, we look to recycle. Our cardboard waste is shredded on site and used on the compost & farm, other items are thoroughly sorted by our team and sent to the relevant off-site recycling facilities. Glass recycling continues to be a large obstacle as current NSW procedures do not see these bottles turned into post-consumer products, we are instead working to find an internal solution where bottles are sterilised & reused on-site.
We currently have a solar system that supplies part of our electricity on Tinja. Our plan is to continue expanding this system in stages over the next few years to ultimately power the entire farm. In the meantime, what we don’t produce ourselves, we buy through green electricity. As the need arises to replace existing fuel-reliant farm equipment, we are vetting and purchasing the most energy & fuel-efficient options, changing from fuel to electric vehicles where possible.
Our first question in purchasing is always ‘can we do without this?’. If we can’t, then we next consider factors such as locality, production impacts, their company’s suitability initiatives and what to do with the waste after use. For purchases where local is not an option, like glass wine bottles, we favour Australian-made products over imports. While currently many sustainable alternatives are inaccessible, the higher the demand for these products, the more action is created all the way up the supply chain (and this all starts with your consumer buying decisions).
Tinja is a certified member of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia. Here we implement the Freshcare Australian Wine Industry Standard of Sustainable Practise (Viticulture) to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability for the benefit of our land & community, and the food & wine industry. We have also developed an internal Sustainability Action Plan to help guide continual improvements in sustainability within our businesses, including our current goal to meet Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets.