Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to sustainability and biodiversity in all aspects of our land and vineyard management, as well as incorporate the use of renewable energy, recyclable or natural materials and the minimisation of waste in every area.
For Geoff this focus began with his Mother’s influence, environmentalist Dr Barbara Hardy, who passed on a fierce determination to ‘Save the World’. Geoff also passed on this passion to his children, including daughter Jess, with whom he works closely at K1. Jess, a committee member of Future Farmers Australia, built on her winemaking studies with additional study in horticulture and regenerative agriculture to bring the latest research and methods to put in practice at K1.
Amongst many sustainability initiatives, K1are proud to be a part of the EcoVineyards program, developed by Dr Mary Retallack, a leader in viticulture in Australia. As part of the program, we have planted native shrubs and groundcover, such as prostate Myoporum species, Ruby Saltbush and Bursaria spinosa to encourage beneficial insects to assist in pest management. In addition, we are currently trialling mixed under-vine and mid-row swards to improve soil health, with the goal of reducing weed management. During winter vine dormancy we also run our Merino x Border Leicester sheep from our neighbouring property as natural mowers and fertilisers (we call them RMU’s - Remote Mowing Units), to reduce the need for mechanically slashing swards in the vineyard, and improve soil health.
Once owned by Antarctic explorer, Sir Doulas Mawson, all the land around K1 was sensitively cleared for grazing in stages over 100 years. Leaving bush corridors along the creek lines and through poorer soil types, it created a home to a vast range of plant and animal species including Kangaroos, Koalas, Echidna and Possums to name just a few.
In developing this approach, Sir Douglas worked with the University of Adelaide, and given his typically enquiring nature, experimented with pasture species for his sheep and cattle grazing areas. He, with his student helpers were involved in the development of select subterranean clovers and robust ryegrass species to control water movement whilst creating better feed.
Since acquiring the property in 1987 from a retiring dairy farmer, Geoff, has established his vineyards and wetlands whilst facilitating and encouraging the regeneration of thousands of local native species, alongside additional plantings of a range of exotic species around The Lakehouse Cellar Door that provide excellent summer shade and winter sun.
The EcoVineyards program was developed by Dr Mary Retallack in order to encourage the planting of native insectary plants in local vineyards. The benefits of this are that these plants increase the presence of predatory anthropods (natural enemies and 'good bugs'), also providing food and shelter for these bugs, thus allowing them to regulate the ecosystem in the vineyards and naturally supress vineyard pests. This reduces the need for chemical sprays in the vineyards, and is just one of many ways to run a more sustainable and eco-conscious wine business.
Future Farmers SA
We are a corporate financial supporter of Future Farmers SA, an organisation that supports Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu regenerative growers and farmers through collaboration and education.
K1 Wines are 'Silver Banksia' sponsors of Hills Biodiversity. In 2021 we held a wine fundraiser with proceeds going to support the creation of Hills Biodiversity's native plant nursery. Hills Biodiversity connects landholders and volunteers to enhance the biodiversity of the Adelaide Hills.