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Banrock Station aims for 50 per cent water reduction

Published:  30 November, 1999

Water shortages in Australia have meant Banrock Station is aiming for a 50% reduction in water usage.

Tony Sharley, company manager, told Harpers at the Climate Change and Wine Conference 2008 his aim was ultimately to develop an "ecologically sustainable" strategy for both production and vineyards.

He said Banrock was "irrigating largely in a desert environment" and the immediate impact being felt from climate change was a reduction in water from the River Murray.

Sharley added: "We are looking to reduce water use in our vineyards by about 50%. We're mulching the entire vineyard and also looking at new irrigation methods to allow us to cut water usage."

Packaging of products is an important area to tackle and the industry should explore options outside of bag-in-box and glass, he said, with tetra-pak an important product to take to consumers and retailers.

"Today we're looking at other alternatives that still meet environmental criteria like being 100% recyclable, lighter than glass and contain much less embodied energy than a glass package."

"Let's face it. This is a big industry and we use a lot of glass and maybe we don't need to put our entire portfolio of wine into glass. Let's look at some energy efficient alternatives." Sharley concluded.