Henschke – Exceptional Wines from Sustainable Vineyards
Henschke, one of Australia’s oldest family-owned wineries, has been making wine for over 150 years in the Barossa’s Eden Valley. Established in 1868, Henschke is resolute in its desire for complete integration of vineyard and winery, through six generations of family grape growing and winemaking tradition.
Henschke is recognised around the world for its exceptional quality wines, innovation and sustainability in the vineyard. The Henschke family’s commitment to sustainability stems from their desire to ensure the created environment sits in a healthy balance with the natural landscape.
Henschke has always been conscious of its energy use, having previously installed a 47kW solar system, upgrading to energy efficient lighting and making operational adjustments to reduce energy consumption. Although the Eden Valley wine region is well suited to grape growing, the winery’s regional location is at the end of the power line, which results in unreliable and limited access to power from the grid.
The Henschke Microgrid – An Australian Winery First
In 2017, Henschke engaged Tandem Energy to conduct a comprehensive energy audit to identify opportunities for improvement. From this initial body of work grew an ambitious project – the design and installation of a solar and battery microgrid with diesel backup. Not only was this a first for Henschke, but it was also a first for any winery in Australia.
The installation of a microgrid provides the backbone of the winery’s electrical infrastructure, thereby enabling opportunities for future sustainable growth, creating energy flexibility and providing energy security by reducing the impact of blackouts and voltage fluctuations. It also increases electricity capacity during vintage, allowing Henschke to produce the exceptional quality wines it is known for and simultaneously reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.
Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his viticulturist wife Prue are passionate about the environment and reducing carbon emissions. The solar system within the microgrid now generates approximately 35% of Henschke’s energy consumption, which equates to a reduction of 60 tonnes of greenhouse gases or the planting of 300 trees every year.
The system’s energy output is sized to meet the winery’s electricity demands in both off-grid and on-grid applications. Tandem continues to finetune the system’s operation to ensure maximum on-site consumption of the generated electricity, helping Henschke to work towards its net zero emissions target.