Radical changes for eco warrior Temple Bruer
“Wines that don’t cost the earth” is the slogan of pioneering sustainable winery Temple Bruer, of Langhorne Creek. It’s a play on words, as not only are the wines affordably priced, but this winery was one of our first to get serious about organic farming and environmentally friendly wine production.
Certified organic since 1995, and with most of its wines preservative-free for the past decade, Temple Bruer is still one of the few Australian wineries to be both organic and carbon neutral. Its aim is to be carbon neutral in its own right (without purchasing carbon offsets) by 2020. It plans to achieve this by increasing its generation of renewable electricity and developing its own biochar program. In 2013, it was first in Australia to plant a weed named Arundo Donax to harvest CO2. According to Temple Bruer founder David Bruer, this ‘weed’ captures more CO2 than any other plant. When turned into biochar, one tonne of ‘this magical matter’ can capture four tonnes of CO2.
While they are working towards being carbon-neutral without purchasing offsets, they are working with Canopy, a not-for-profit company which co-ordinates environmentally and socially sustainable programs around the world.
This year, the Temple Bruer wines have received a radical facelift. They threw out the design they’d been using for 31 years and introduced a new look. The strikingly beautiful labels feature pen-drawings of bees, birds, butterflies and plants, highlighted by a vivid splash of colour on a pristine white background.
Concurrently, a new winemaker, Kate Wall, has been employed. Kate was formerly a winemaker at Petaluma for many years so she is a highly competent winemaker. I’d expect she will bring fresh rigour and polish to the Temple Bruer wines.
The newly released 2017 vintage wines, however, were all vinified by a visiting Frenchman who left after the vintage. All of the 2017 wines are AUD $20 retail and my pick was the grenache shiraz, produced from Langhorne Creek and Eden Valley grapes. It’s a floral, fruity light to medium-bodied red for immediate drinking. The cinsault, shiraz, grenache rosé is also a lovely wine – made from Langhorne Creek and Riverland fruit. The winery owns vineyards in Langhorne Creek, Eden Valley and Riverland, all of them certified A grade organic.