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    Our Responsibility

    Sustainable vineyard and winery

    Respect for water

    Water is vital for a vineyard and winery. Without water, the soil condition of the high-altitude sandy desert will quickly return to its natural state. But water is a finite resource that should be used judiciously. At Pernod Ricard Helan Mountain, we are conscious of the value of water and spare no effort to protect this resource.

    1997 Location of the Winery
    2017 The winery photographed from the same location.

    Minimising water usage

    The annual rainfall at Ningxia is a mere 200 mm (compared to over 920 mm in Bordeaux). Irrigation is essential. Instead of furrow or flood irrigation, we adopt drip irrigation across the 400 hectares of land. We do not need to water every row of vine every month, but during the growth season, the drip irrigation system hanging on the vines will carefully drip irrigate the vines every week. The transition from flood irrigation to drip irrigation has reduced water usage by 70% per hectare. The drip irrigation system also gives us better control of grape growing and yields better quality grapes for making great wines.

    Drip irrigating seedlings at Helan Mountain

    Reuse and Recycle

    A wastewater treatment system is a key component for any winery. One of the key elements of our redevelopment was introducing a state-of-the-art water treatment system to replace the evaporation tank. Waste water (from washing containers and equipment to keep the winery clean) may contain cleaning agents that affect the water’s pH level. There is usually a high level of organic matters in yeast and grape juice. After professional processing however, it can be reused for watering the trees in the vineyard and reduce the reliance on the precious water for irrigating the vines.

    The wastewater treatment installation at Pernod Ricard Helan Mountain

    Biodiversity

    We use recycled waste water to water the plants in the winery. The green belt in turn shelters the vineyard and improves the grape-growing environment. A row of 10-metre tall trees can shade 100 metres of vineyard. Trees help to maintain the temperature and protect the vines from wind and sandstorms. They are also a key element for enriching our biodiversity. As well as shading the vines, trees shelter birds and fauna. Our vineyard is surrounded by 20 hectares (600 acres) of trees, giving the ecosystem a greater level of biodiversity.

    Winemaking waste recycling

    After crushing, about 600 tonnes of pulp is produced. We sell the pulp for processing (to extract grapeseed oil and alcohol) or scatter the precious organic material over the vineyard.Organic matter is vital for creating and maintaining healthy soil. It can help to sustain soil structure, improve drainage and support the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil. All of which contribute to the healthy growth of grapes for making delicious wines.

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