Banrock Station – environmental credentials

Banrock Station is a brand of the Hardy’s Wine Company and refers to vineyards located on the Murry River in South Australia. They have recently been advertising how money from the sale of each bottle goes to help preserve endangered Australian wildlife – flora and fauna. Which in the fairly boring world of wine advertising gives them something to say and stand out.

Yet I wondered how valid are their environmental claims ? This is still Riverland wine, made by irrigating grapevines with precious water from the Murray River. And on land that was once slow growing mallee forest (90% of South Australia’s malle has been cut down).

I visited their web site, which while not the most objective source is very informative. Indeed it is a superb site which even features a Quicktime vitual tour and a live webcam where you can control the camera view.

It includes information not just on their philanthropy (donations from bottles sales go to wetland environmental causes in 10 different countries), but also on their viticultural practices to save water use. There are just 600 acres (245 hecares) of wines on 3,400 acres (1375 hecares) of bush and wetlands which are being restored after a century of rabbit and stock grazing.

I’m impressed. And while Banrock Station don’t exactly make fine wine (they do a good job at making everyday wine) I’m very keen now to visit the vineyards and tourist centre they run at Kingston-On-Murray, South Australia about 2 hours drive from Adelaide.

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