One of Australia's oldest vineyards is championing an innovative approach to environmental sustainability.
A NSW Government Grant has provided Wyndham Estate with the opportunity, in partnership with Rio Tinto, to re-establish the Hunter River's native fish habitat. Wyndham Estate sits along 1.5 kilometres of the Hunter River at Dalwood and is the only vineyard in the Lower Hunter to sit on the River.
'Engineered log jams' known as 'fish hotels' will be built from the clearing of trees at the Mount Thorley coal mine and root balls donated by the Hunter Expressway Alliance.
These fish hotels help recreate the root habitat of River Red Gums. Algae and thousands of tiny creatures grow on the surface of the logs and form the diet of young fish. The habitat gives young fish the chance to survive and grow into adults.
When the River floods, the adult fish are spread to other parts of the Hunter River, aiding in the repopulation.
Wyndham Estate Manager, Stephen Guilbaud-Oulton, said the project was pivotal in the Estate's commitment to the environment in the region.
“We are well positioned to support this project. It becomes part of a larger scheme with the replanting of native flora along the River to help improve and maintain the overall health of the River and its surrounding land,” Stephen said.
“This is an important part of the way we work in our community and complements our work in preserving and recording the rich heritage of this important wine making estate.”
Wyndham Estate attracts about 40,000 visitors per year. The winery won the best Tourism Winery at the 2011 NSW Tourism Awards and recently took out the 'Best Major Wine Producer' in the Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards.