Steel posts offer sustainable option for vineyard owners
Eco Trellis steel posts have been used as replacement posts for at least four years on several vineyards owned by Constellation Brands in Marlborough.
Dan Warman, Vineyard Manager at Blind River Vineyards in Seddon, says the steel posts align with Constellation Brands’ focus on sustainability.
“It’s getting harder and harder to get rid of wooden posts even though you give away as many as you can,” says Dan. “You still end up with a stockpile which causes leaching into the ground, they’re hard to store, the regulations for how and where you store them are changing, and they often end up going to landfill.”
In contrast, Eco Trellis steel posts are reusable. “If you do bend an Eco Trellis post when installing, you can pull the whole post back out, remove the reusable clips, and when you’ve got enough, send them back to be remade into more Eco Trellis posts. You can’t really beat it.
”When Dan was the Vineyard Manager at Constellations’ Castle Cliffs Vineyard over the Awatere River, a 11 ha block of the 153 ha vineyard was redeveloped in 2019.
“We looked at the options to suit the variety of ground conditions across the vineyard. Some were rocky, some not. We decided to go with Eco Trellis and even in the quite rocky areas, they drove in well, and they look nice and tidy too which was a nice change to see.
“You’ll usually smash or bend a couple of wooden posts when driving them in, and it’s much the same when installing Eco Trellis, but the good thing is you can collect and return the bent steel posts for recycling.
“Where I am now at Blind River is more undulating and we need to replace posts every year because of the pressures caused over the undulations, but as we replace wooden posts with Eco Trellis, we find that the steel posts are lasting much longer and don’t need replacing as often.”
Dan’s observations are that the Eco Trellis system handles the machine harvester better. “They’ve got some ‘give’ and don’t snap off.
”He likes the ease of installation, by machine or by hand, and the pre-determined holes which mean that the clips are always in the right place. “The clips are reusable. They clip and interlock out easily. It’s a good system. The posts and strainers are light and easy to handle. I can’t speak highly enough of them.”