Canterbury winery first in the country to be net carbon zero certified, organic and regenerative

A North Canterbury winery says it's the first in the country to be net carbon zero certified, organic and regenerative. 

The effects of climate change have propelled Greystone to clean up its act and shrink its environmental footprint.

Sheep farm or vineyard? Why not both? 

"Vineyards in New Zealand are all planted on amazing farmland so why would we not farm and grow grapes at the same time?" Greystone viticulturists Mike Saunders said.

Saunders says it's a no brainer and that it's futureproofing. 

"US food and agriculture talked about us having only 50 harvests left. So for us, I can't imagine a world without being able to produce or own food or our own chardonnay," he said.

That was enough to kick Greystone into action.

Peking ducks instead of pesticides, they eat the grass grub that has the potential to wipe out entire crops. 

Greystone's cars are now hybrid and they lease tractors that are 50 percent more fuel-efficient.

Even the bottles have gotten greener, less glass means they're lightweight and 144 more bottles can fit on each pallet for export. 

Greystone's just become Toitu Envirocare net carbon zero certified.

"It's not hard when you look at it as your only option," Saunders said. 

Introducing sheep may have been a pivotal step. Not only do they mow, they also fertilise.

"We're planting cover crops up to 30 different species at a time," Saunders said. "Believe it or not lentils are sprouting around this timecode."

The cover crops are fodder for the sheep, they can also sequester, transfer and store carbon between plant and soil.

The changes you can see you'll eventually be able to taste.  

"The greatest wines are coming from vines that are 100 years old and we know we don't have that long left if we don't make some changes now," Greystone marketing manager Nik Mavromatis said.

Regenerative viticulture that will sustain future generations.