Brown Brothers is committed to actively caring for the environment. It is our objective to undertake all activities in a manner that will minimise waste generation and maintain a quality product. To achieve this, Brown Brothers and all employees assume joint responsibility for the creation and implementation of waste reduction and management programs.
Understanding and using water better is a key focus for our Viticulture team. In 2005 we established 116 hectares near Swan Hill, Victoria with sub-surface irrigation. We continue to evaluate this as well as trialing other water-saving techniques in all our vineyards. At Milawa we have established a woodlot of native redgums which is watered with waste water, the eucalypts then taking up salt from the water.
Brown Brothers has an integrated pest management program, which involves careful management of beneficial insect populations, using only “soft” chemicals for disease control and the avoidance of broad spectrum insecticides. We also maintain native vegetation belts in vineyards to promote invertebrate biodiversity.
All our vineyards have a soil health management program with the use of cover crops, mulch and the growth of volunteer sward. Where available we also apply mulch to the undervine area in the form of composted grape marc or by side throwing grass clippings from mowing the mid-row strip.
We utilise multi-row equipment and machinery in our vineyards so as to minimise soil compaction and to reduce diesel usage.
Brown Brothers became a signatory to the National Packaging Covenant in 2000. Our commitment continues with the Australian Packaging Covenant signing in September 2010.
Our Action Plan sets out how Brown Brothers Milawa Vineyard plans to contribute towards achievement of the objectives of the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) over the next 5 years. As signatory to the APC continues, we are better able to understand our environmental impact upon comparison of our own baseline data and that of similar companies within the wine industry. Our challenges continue due to changes in our product mix with increased growth in sparkling wine products and commercial considerations, including safety.