Sustainability and Minimising our Environmental Impact
These are some of the steps we have taken to make Bothy Vineyard more sustainable.
- We have brought our soils "back to life" with inter-planting of grass and using green composts.
- We use native Sweet Chestnut posts for the trellis which have a very low (or possibly negative) carbon footprint and provide over-wintering homes for many of the beneficial insects which live in the vineyard.
- Intelligent use of fungicides and herbicides to minimize their use and any negative environmental impact. No use of insecticides. Our wine has been tested for chemical residues and none at all have detected by an independent laboratory, Corkwise.
- Biodiversity areas - our grassy areas are planted with a mixture of native species. Over 600 native trees have also been planted and old wood is left in the periphery for invertebrates. In Nov 2011 we sowed 1 acre of wildflower grass mix in the vineyard, which is designed to assist butterflies, bumblebees and the solitary bees which nest on site. In 2014, another 2 acres were added. We continue to encourage local wildflowers onto our land. We have glow worms, common lizards, orchids and much, much more. Those of you interested in our species lists can contact us. We
- ran a wildflower diary on our Facebook blog in 2020 to engage with a growing audience that was stuck at home.
- the world's only vineyard-glow worm survey
- replaced several dead hedges or leylandii hedges with thick, mixed hedges populated with local English shrubs
- Electricity used is 100% from renewable sources - some of which we generate on site. In 2020 we installed new panels over the winery.
- In the time of the Pandemic (2020) we are delivering to Oxford, Abingdon and surrounding areas using our Electric car, powered by green energy.
- 95% of winery waste composted on site. The rest is recycled whenever possible.
- We are reducing the use of plastic ties in the vineyard - all the tying down is done with low impact biodegradable wire ties.
- We use only recycled paper (including for our newsletters which are printed with environmentally friendly inks), and encourage customers to bring their wine boxes to us.
- We use minimal chemical intervention in the winery.
- Bottles - these have been "light-weighted" and come in at just 340g, thereby reducing our carbon footprint.
- Corks - We use Diam corks because these have less embedded energy than other closures, and Diam have eliminated cork taint through exacting technology. Corks are also 100% biodegradable and recyclable.
- We send used natural corks to Recorked UK, where they are upcycled, and any profit made is donated to Wild Oxfordshire.
- We actively support Wild Oxfordshire because of the wildlife link, and are signed up to the Good Food Oxford Charter. We are the key cork collection point for Oxfordshire, networking with other like-minded businesses and individuals.
- We have stopped using capsules for our wines to reduce unnecessary packaging.
- We re-use wine boxes donated by our customers and local businesses and promote the use of reusable bottle carriers.
- 80% of our wine is sold directly to the public, most of whom are local (we deliberately do not have a contract with a courier). The other 20% of our sales is to local outlets. This marketing strategy results in minimal transport impact.
- We involve the local community in most aspects of the vineyard management and some of the winemaking process. Where ever possible we source local foods (and grow many of the vegetables) for the meals prepared for volunteers. We try and use local business services and products.
- We are working on improving our responsible drinking messages in our shop and on the website.
Our philosophy is to produce the highest quality wines from grapes cultivated in as environmentally friendly a way as possible.