Minko has a long history of caring for the environment. Along with biodynamic viticultural practices, we minimise our use of herbicides – only spot spraying noxious weeds – and do not use pesticides. We use copper and sulphur to maintain populations of beneficial mites and fungi, and rely on birds and other insects to keep the pests away. Over summer the vines are netted to prevent bird damage and the need for an anti-botrytis spray.
We slash the mid-row grasses in spring and spread this under the vines for mulch. The horses and cattle graze in the vineyards to remove any remaining fruit after picking and keep the grass and weeds contained. This reduces disease pressure and increases organic matter… Dung beetles are very active in our vineyard!
We use native vegetation for windbreaks as well as to provide shade and habitat for birds and wildlife, and have other windbreaks of olive trees for oil and pines for agroforestry.
In early 2000 We had our 200 acres of native scrub heritage listed to protect it for future generations, and follow a Bush for Life plan to ensure it is well looked after. The Department of Environment is planting rare local species on Minko, and the wetlands we have created along the Nangkita and Tookiyerta Creeks add great ecological value to our property.
Additionally we have 5kv of solar panels to reduce our carbon footprint, and Minko Cottage was built using passive solar design principals.