Our Minimum Manifesto.
Minimum is a project of love.
Mindful wines, made for humans. With respect for the land they come from, and the people who drink them.
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which our vineyard is located, the eight clans of the Yorta Yorta Nation, and on which our office and winery are located, the Wurundjeri & Taungurung people of the Kulin Nation, and we pay our respects to their Elders past and present. We extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and we acknowledge their ongoing connection to Country. We honour Gaiyala / Warring, the river that feeds our land and connects us.
We use only organic, regenerative growing principles in the vineyard to nurture our grapes, so they can become who they always knew they could be. We use only organic practices and ingredients in the winery and intervene with our ferments as little as necessary to support them in becoming amazing wine, made to inspire the drinker.
For us, making wine is like making great food—it’s a dance; you, nature, the wine. It’s something you create. Like a great meal. You take quality organic ingredients, combine them simply—adding only what is necessary, when necessary—to create an amazing dish that celebrates the key ingredients.
We have been fully certified organic (with ACO) since the beginning of the 2020 season (our 2018 and 2019 wines, made during the 3-year certification process, are dubbed 'In Conversion Organic'). Converting to organic, regenerative farming practices has completely transformed our vineyard’s health and the quality of our grapes and we hope to serve as an example that farming practices can change for the better, on both small and large scales.
Accountability. Responsibility. Transparency. Joy.
As a young and growing business in this current climate, we believe we're obliged to take responsibility and accountability for the major role in which we—as part of the broader business community—play in exacerbating social and ecological problems. But we also acknowledge, on the flip side, the role we can play in the regeneration of social and ecological landscapes.
Part of our way of committing to ethical and purpose-driven business is our B Corp certification. We are incredibly proud to have received B Corp certification in February 2022, after a years-long process of careful assessment and auditing, required to meet B Corp's high standards of corporate, social and environmental performance.
We are committed to operating an ethical and purpose-driven company and strive to always do what is best for all stakeholders and the planet, across every facet of our business. Every 3 years we are audited anew and the process is a constant encouragement to make incrementally more positive and transparent changes to help maximise our regenerative potential.
See our B Corp score, and read more about what B Corp means to us HERE.
No animal products are used in the making of our wines. We are certified vegan with Vegan Australia. But please note, this is not a difficult thing to achieve in winemaking and you will find that actually most wines on the shelves are vegan.
Why this approach?
Our background is organic vegetable and flower farming and just like the flowers and vegetables on our farm, we believe in creating wines that are completely organic from vine to bottle and as true to the grapes we harvest as possible.
In the vineyard.
It all starts in the vineyard. For over four years now we have been practicing solely organic, regenerative farming techniques in our vineyard, including green manure cover crops, compost teas, mulching, under-vine cultivation, no chemicals or pesticides, and advanced water-saving practices.
Our primary focus for the next few years is increasing the amount of organic matter and microbial diversity of our soil. So far, the results have been magnificent. We believe that the healthier our soil gets, the healthier our vines get, the better the character of the fruit gets = better wine.
In the winery.
We are big advocates for wild fermentation and as of vintage 2020 all of our wines are 100% wild fermented. We aren’t against adds (additions) as a blanket rule, but for us to use an ‘add’, it must be three things:
➀ 'Minimum impact' (i.e. it doesn't alter the true character of the wine).
➁ Massively enhancing to the finished product (like a chef adding a pinch of salt to a dish—small addition for big results).
➂ From nature.
Every one of our adds is organic and naturally derived and we use them only when needed, only in minimal amounts. As of 2021 we are only using 4 adds: tartaric acid (naturally derived from the winemaking process), spent yeast cells (like the superfood supplement brewer's yeast, this is extra nutrition for our wild yeasts when they need it during fermentation), dry ice (solid CO2) and minimal amounts of sulphur (see below).
We ferment in a variety of seasoned (old) barrels, big 450-1500L buckets, stainless steel tanks, large open wooden vats and a very new barrels for spice. If we ever need to inoculate a wayward ferment we only use organically cultivated wild yeast strains isolated from biodynamic vineyards. We don't fine our wines but we do filter our Main Range (with diatomaceous earth or inert membranes) before bottling. Our Short Runs range is always unfined & unfiltered.
Low Sulphur Goal.
Our self-imposed low sulphur goal is for all of our wines to contain less than half what's allowed under the Organic protocol, as of vintage 2021 onwards. Sulphur (also spelled sulfur, or people use the term sulphites/sulfites) is measured in mg/L of total sulphur in the final wine. Here's what this means:
Whites & Rosés
Regular food standards
ACO (organic) standards
Our ‘low sulphur’ goal
Generally, we add small amounts of sulphur after fermentation is complete, and just before bottling.
Minimum will always give back to nature. We will always support charities we believe in and advocate for change. We are proud partners with One Tree Planted, and by planting 1 tree per dozen, per year, our wines sequester more carbon than they produce. That 1 tree will sequester 10 bottles worth of carbon every year once mature (we measure the entire carbon footprint of our wine with the help of the beautiful humans at Toitū) and before we even started making wine our vineyard and winery were already over 50% offset by trees we’d planted previously. That means that in our first vintage, 2018, we sequestered 130% of the carbon made in producing our wines and we’re adding another 80% to that figure every year.
All of our packaging is 100% recyclable or compostable and most of it is made from 100% recycled materials itself. In the winery we practice minimum waste methodology and all of our spent grape marc is composted and returned to the soil.
An ode to cork.
We bottle under cork. This is why. In short:
➀ Cork is 100% compostable whereas screw caps, while their components are technically recyclable, are almost impossible to actually recycle.
➁ Cork is a carbon negative product sequestering 70 times more greenhouse gases during its growth than is produced during its transformation into wine closures. Screw caps, on the other hand, generate twenty times the amount of greenhouse gases than corks during their production and sequester nothing.
➂ Cork is a zero waste industry.
➃ Cork is incredibly abundant—there is not, nor has there ever been, a cork shortage.
➄ The phenomenally biodiverse cork forests are the most sustainable forestry crop and one of the most efficient carbon sinks on the planet. But when we don’t support the cork industry, those 200-year-old forests get cut down and planted to other conventionally farmed commercial crops instead.
We would love to see cork embraced and returned as a mainstream bottle closure in Australia. The cork industry’s processes are better than ever and faults arising from ‘bad’ corks now occur less than ever. So buy bottles under cork! You will be supporting a healthier planet.
PS. We bottle our Pét Nat's under crown seal because the steel caps fully separate from the bottles and the steel is infinitely recyclable. Unlike screw caps, steel crown caps are ferrous (i.e. they can be collected by magnets) so they don't get lost in waste streams and are efficiently recycled.
5% to Impact.
We commit ourselves, beyond wine, to always contribute at least 5% of revenue to positive social and environmental impact. As we grow, so does our impact. We are committed to having a positive impact in three key areas; product, people and place.
➀ Good product: Our aim is to create products that are socially and environmentally positive.
➁ Good people: We believe in good people and strive to support and surround ourselves with those that are committed to being accountable and kind.
➂ Good place: Everything we do is connected to place and we are committed to a regenerative journey that pursues true sustainability of our environment, social structures and economies.
As well as our ongoing impact commitments, each year we centre ourselves by developing timely projects. Click here to learn all about our 5% to Impact approach.
In 2021 we launched an internal initiative: Good Grants. Each year, every staff member will receive a Good Grant to spend on their wellness (e.g. emotional literacy development, mental/spiritual health, acupuncture, mentorship) – it's their choice. The Good Grants money is linked to a percentage of our yearly revenue and is distributed evenly to all part- and full-time staff. The more we grow the more we fund staff wellness.
We are so proud to have this opportunity to take a conventionally-farmed vineyard, convert it to thriving organic health and bring the fruits of those vines to you in a form that is healthily, organically and thoughtfully made, has attention to detail and is full of love. We believe in great vineyard practices and that soil health is the true key to great wine. And we will honour every grape, every harvest.
We will continue to 'seek the minimum'. Every year we are running sans-adds, sans-filtration and sans-sulphur trials and will continue to refine our definition of what minimum really means.
If you have any questions about our processes, please don’t hesitate to email us.