Peter generally describes the winery as “an ugly shed in a beautiful place”. He could be more polite about the shed, but the description of the bushland and vineyards which surround the winery is spot-on.

We aim to keep it all beautiful, and to that end we work hard to minimise our presence in the landscape. You won’t find a hose running or a light on in the winery without good purpose, and our water consumption per litre of wine produced is waaaaaay lower than the industry average – we don’t know anyone meaner with their water supply. The water that we do use is collected and treated, before being used to irrigate a woodlot not far from us.

We have 30 kW of solar panels on the roof; we collect all our own rainwater; we utilise a system designed in-house to very effectively recover waste heat from our refrigeration plant to warm our insulated spaces when they need warming; an instant-heat hot water system minimises fuel consumption and reduces our usage of chemicals for cleaning tanks; and we have recently completed the replacement of wasteful lighting with efficient LED systems. Our wine tanks and storage sheds are insulated to conserve heat when necessary, but mainly to keep it out!

We have almost 12 ha of vines, all of which we manage with as few inputs (including water) as possible, but we can’t claim to be organic. While the vineyard was set up years ago with CCA-treated pine posts, we have a firm policy of replacing any that are broken with strong and 100% recyclable galvanised steel posts, so that we are not adding to the national stockpile of surplus treated pine remnants. The property also features over 20 ha of pristine native vegetation – home to a significant mob of kangaroos who we see regularly, a less-visible but omnipresent group of koalas, and all sorts of other smaller native critters that we can’t see but know are there. The birdlife is fantastic, and a feature of life at Revenir is the calls and sightings of wedge-tail eagles, kookaburras, blue wrens, red wrens, butcher birds, black cockatoos and magpies. Don’t mention the rosellas and lorikeets, who feast on our grapes. They’re not so welcome.

Most of the bushland is protected by a Heritage Agreement, which means that it must remain untouched in perpetuity. The Hills region has a problem with woody weeds such as heath erica, broom and blackberries, and we are no exception. However, recognising the value of our bushland, we have a formal arrangement with the state’s Natural Resources Management people to work together to control – and ultimately hopefully eradicate – these plants and others from our vineyards and the bushlands. To that end you will see a mattock (don’t know what one is? Look it up!) always accessible for Peter to attack a rogue plant when he sees it. It keeps him fit(-ish).