Our Sustainability Story
Lake Moodemere became the first sustainable vineyard in North East Victoria in August 2021. The vineyard is certified under the Australian Wine Industry Standard of Sustainable Practice.
Our vineyard is positioned on the bank of Lake Moodemere, part of the Murray River System. It was named among Australia’s Top 50 Vineyards in 2021 and 2022. In August 2021, Lake Moodemere Estate became the first vineyard in North East Victoria to be awarded with Sustainable Certification. We’re focused on the implementation of sustainable practices to increase biodiversity, insect life, reduce water usage and energy use, and eliminate pesticide, herbicide and synthetic fertiliser.
The Moodemere Terroir
The first vines were planted in Rutherglen around 1851. Among the front runners were the Turner Family who established our Lakeside vineyard in 1886. The vines were planted in a North/Southerly aspect along the edge of a redgum forest with habitat for native birds, predatory insects, reptiles, wildlife and insectary plants. Varieties currently found in the Lakeside vineyard include Durif, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cinsaut, Merlot, Riesling, Chardonnay and Grenache Blanc.
The Lakeside vineyard has a terroir unlike any other. Thousands of years ago the Murray River swept around the bank upon which the vineyard lies. As the river changed its course it left a billabong, Lake Moodemere, in its wake. The red loam soil, extending 12 feet below the surface, is a remnant of the original path of the Murray. The wind pattern rising up the bank from the water creates its own unique microclimate. The result is wine of distinct character displaying bold varietal fruit and soft, luxurious tannins.
Sustainable Wine & Lamb
For seven generations the Chambers Family have combined wine and lamb production. Our focus on innovative sustainable practices has eliminated the use of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilisers in the vineyard.
Reflecting on the progress gained through early adoption of sustainability strategies, Joel says “the use of prime lambs and breeding stock to co-exist effectively and profitably within our vines is very innovative and has cut out the need for winter herbicides while also providing organic fertiliser, further reducing our carbon footprint”.
The utilisation of cover crops in the vineyard was first introduced in the 1970’s. It is an integral element of integrated pest management and provides a significant impact on the prevalence of beneficial insect populations. Cell grazing of Lake Moodemere Estate’s prime lambs provides a secondary income stream through the cover crop’s high nutritional value. The mid row plantings benefit vine health by acting as mulch, reducing water consumption, while the grazing lambs provide a chemical free solution to weed management and nitrogen input. Sheep manure is collected from the shearing shed and broadcast throughout the vineyard to provide additional organic fertiliser, completely eliminating synthetic fertilisers and transport kilometres. The cell grazing system includes a solar powered generator, creating an electric boundary to contain the sheep. Sheep grazing contributes to a reduction in fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions due to the removal of mechanical slashing and spraying.