Sustainability in the Vineyard

With over 50 years’ experience as a viticulturist, botanist and conservationist, Prue Henschke’s commitment to restoring balance to the natural environment and minimising harmful impacts to the earth has seen her lead the way with regenerative viticulture.  

Restoring Australian Biodiversity

By increasing native biodiversity in the vineyard, Prue has created a stronger, more balanced ecosystem than the vine monoculture of the past. 

In the once empty spaces across the Henschke vineyards, Prue has used her botanical expertise from university studies in botany and zoology to establish thousands of different Australian native plants. These contribute to soil health and support wildlife, including insects, small animals, microbats and birds. 

A planting program has also restored woodlands and forests to 50% of all Henschke lands – 18,000 trees were planted in one property alone.

Regenerating Vineyards

Applying organic and biodynamic practices have been key to nurturing the health of Henschke vineyards. Organic alternatives have replaced energy-intensive, disruptive fertilisers and pesticides.

We use biodynamic composts under vine made from cow manure and egg shells, as well as microbiological and mineral-rich preparations and sprays to enrich the soil and create the best environment for plant growth. These are used in tune with the seasons and the energy cycles between the earth and the moon; Prue tracks these cycles with Brian Keats’ Antipodean Astro Calendar. 

To retain the integrity of the life in the soil it is no longer cultivated. In addition to planting native groundcovers, we add a thick layer of straw mulch under the vines over the compost to help preserve soil moisture and keep soil temperatures lower in summer.

The soils in Henschke vineyards are dark, humus-rich and full of life; a living food web of organisms, bacteria, worms and fungal mycorrhiza that plays a vital role in sharing nutrients with the vines and supporting them through their seasonal cycle. 

    Reviews

    • “My philosophy is a holistic one – to ensure our created environment sits in a healthy balance with our natural landscape. I would like to see the next generation inherit a fertile and sustainable land.”

      PRUE HENSCHKE - VITICULTURIST

    • “We see the nourishing of our land as a way of connecting healthy soils, healthy produce and healthy people. We want to tread as lightly as possible on our land; land that has been nurtured by six generations of Henschke and is our past, our present and our future.”

      PRUE HENSCHKE - VITICULTURIST

    • “My mantra is living within the landscape. We need to ensure our created environment sits in a healthy balance with our natural landscape. I would like to see the next generation inherit a fertile and sustainable land.”

      PRUE HENSCHKE - VITICULTURIST

    • “Using the principles of organics and biodynamics enables me to create the best environment for plant growth. Since I started using these practices, I am seeing the benefits in greater expression of aromas and textures in the wines from all our vineyards.”

      PRUE HENSCHKE - VITICULTURIST