Business Rural Spring 2021

16 | Working with nature and environment Kim Newth I t is no accident that wild New Zealand native fal- cons (‘Karearea’) can often be seen free-wheeling across the skies, high above Peregrine Wines’ landmark winery in Central Otago’s Gibbston Valley. The award winning winery’s sweeping canopy was inspired by the wing of a soaring falcon and the family that owns this iconic winemaking business is deeply committed to the conservation of this majestic species. “We have been with the Wingspan Birds of Prey Trust for a number of years now as their Central Otago wine sponsor,” says Peregrine Wines CEO Fraser McLachlan, whose parents Lindsay and Jude were among the first grape growers in the Bendigo area in the late 1990s; Lindsay is still very engaged today in vineyard and winery operations. “Nine years ago we brought down falcon chicks and, under the guidance of Wingspan, set up a hack box at Peregrine Winery and nurtured them to maturity on site. Those local birds have stuck around ever since and visitors often spot them flying around. It’s really wonderful that they settled here and are now part of our environment.” The family’s organic winery and vineyard opera- tion in Bendigo and the Gibbston Valley comprises 65ha of vineyard land, complemented by 70ha of farmland. Peregrine is known as an artisan producer with a focus on Pinot Noir and a premium range of white varietals. Since converting to an organic system in 2009, Peregrine has progressed to a closed loop, low carbon footprint style of viticulture with minimal outside inputs. Cattle eat the grape marc and stock effluent is, in turn, converted into compost to feed the vines. Wiltshire sheep keep the vineyard tidy after harvest through to bud burst and chickens are deployed as natural pest control. “Every year since we converted to organic pro- duction, we have seen progressive improvement in vine health and quality of the fruit we can produce.” Along with falcon conservation, Peregrine Wines is also deeply committed to the endangered South Island Saddleback and has been involved with Department of Conversation (DOC) efforts to trans- locate saddlebacks to predator-free islands. “We’re currently involved with helping to fund intensive, highly efficient trap lines on Resolution Is- land/Tau Moana in Dusky Sound to reach a position where endangered birds like the saddleback can be safely and routinely released there. VITICULTURE » Peregrine Wines Intensive trapping is really the only way to ef- fectively stop predators that can swim across from the mainland.” Fraser says he and his family are excited by the potential of Resolution Island, the largest island (208km²) in the Fiordland region. “This is a real test case for a large landmass being managed to become pest-free.” Meanwhile, Peregrine Wines is modestly growing the vineyard area in Bendigo to reflect the quality of fruit being produced there. The very best of this exceptional fruit goes into the exclusive Pinnacle label which includes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. “We have a highly skilled and dedicated team in the vineyard who have intimate knowledge of our vineyard sites. Our winemaker Nadine Cross has been with us for 11 years and has a deep under- standing of the land and our wine style.” Peregrine Wines is proud of its award winning success. This premier wine producer with environ- ment stewardship at its heart is making its mark not just at the top end of the organic wine market but in the wider world of fine New Zealand wine. For Broadband Anywhere, Talk To Us! Netspeed, proudly supplying Peregrine Wines with internet since 2015 Fast Reliable Broadband · Kiwi Customer Support · No Contracts Netspeed provides fast, efficient and affordable home phone and broadband packages available throughout New Zealand in rural and city areas, mobile homes, caravans, baches and almonst anywhere else you can think of! We’re ENTIRELY New Zealand based with no contracts to tie you in. 0800 638 773 LET’S TAKE THINGS FURTHER NZ nationwide courier services International couriers Whangarei Tauranga Auckland North Harbour Hamilton Rotorua Hawke’s Bay Dunedin Nelson Queenstown Invercargill Christchurch Palmerston North Wellington New Plymouth Ashburton Timaru Blenheim Proudly Suppor�ng NZ Local Business Peregrine Wines Over 15 years 0800 106 828 www.po s th as t Photos: Peregrine Wines is committed to the conservation of the New Zealand falcon (Karearea). The award winning winery’s sweeping canopy was inspired by the wing of a soaring falcon. Photo: Matt Wong. Inset: Karearea chicks.