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Today is Earth Day 2020, and this year is a particularly special occasion as it marks 50 years of celebrating this movement! Earth Day’s mission is to build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and the planet. There is an ever-increasing focus on the environment and here at Bolney we are passionate about playing our part in reducing climate change and taking an ethical approach to our activities in order to protect the environment.
At our very core, we are guided by nature. We encompass this value in everything we do as the environment and our climate are so important to us for a whole multitude of reasons. From needing to maintain the perfect microclimate here at Bolney for growing our grapes and making our award-winning wine, to creating a haven of peace and tranquillity in the Sussex countryside where our customers can enjoy some time out from their busy daily lives. Here are just some of the ways we look after the nature around us and beyond:
We work hard to source all our produce and ingredients locally. This not only reduces our carbon footprint, but also allows us to ensure we are partnering with ethical and sustainable companies who care about our planet. We’ve recently added Sapling Vodka to our range, who, incredibly, decrease their carbon output by planting a tree for every bottle sold. Then there’s Bramley whose Ivy Hand Gift Set we proudly stock. Bramley ensures that all their ingredients have been responsibly sourced and are vegan and cruelty free, as well as using 100% recyclable packaging. We have even launched our own range of sustainable products such as our Bolney bottle bag for life and stainless-steel water bottles so that our customers and staff can do their part to reduce single-use plastics in style.
We do all we can to create a sustainable business – both in our performance and our practices. In a move to further strengthen our sustainable practices, we installed solar panels on our new winery and across our main building, cafe and office which has helped to reduce our reliance on the national grid by 30%. On long sunny summer days, our panels actually generate more electricity than we use, so some is even provided to the National Grid for use elsewhere! We are also founding members of the Environmental Sustainability Workgroup of WineGB, so we are proud to be actively driving this movement forward.
We’re always looking for ways to improve our range to make it more environmentally friendly, and we have made lots of changes to help with this. Most recently, we have moved all our sparkling rosés into green glass, which has 30% more recycled material than our previous bottles and sourced sparkling wine boxes which use approximately 30% less cardboard by weight than other wineries. We have also redesigned our label range so that it is now paper-based, and sourced sparkling wine foils with an 80% carbon footprint reduction over previous materials, meaning our wine bottles and screw caps are 100% recyclable.
At Bolney we’re proud to have a sustainable range that tastes great too! This is most recently demonstrated in the two new additions to our range. In 2018 we launched our Bolney Rosso Vermouth which uses the abundance of sloes and elderberries we have growing in our hedgerows each year. Previously those not eaten by birds went to waste so we are thrilled to now be using these for our Vermouth. We also started producing our own Bolney Estate Gin last year. Sustainability was a central part of our approach to this project, in a similar way that the production of our wine has been since 1972. As a result, we have created a delicious Gin that uses press wine from our very own estate grown grapes, distilled with delicate botanicals, including hawthorn leaves sourced from the hedgerows surrounding our vines.
Guided by nature
Finally, we have positioned ourselves as a calming and nature-inspired destination in the heart of rural Sussex where visitors can learn about the wine industry and enjoy some time out. We particularly focus on creating an environment where our community can come for a ‘digital detox’ and escape the hustle and bustle of local towns and cities. The setting is glorious, with views to the South Downs and an abundance of wildlife all around. If you come in the morning you might even spot roe deer slinking between the vines, and by afternoon in the summer the dragonflies will be out.
Happy Earth Day to all our customers.
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