Today is Earth Day (shouldn't it be every day?), the official day to raise awareness around protecting the environment and acknowledging the growing global climate crisis. Howard Park is honouring its arboraceous surrounds through a partnership with environmental charity, Carbon Positive Australia. The winery has released four new wines as part of their exclusive collection Arbor Novae (which translates to 'new trees' in Latin).
Arbor Novae celebrates terroir – expressing site-specific characteristics in the glass – but most importantly Howard Park is reinvesting in the land they source from, bringing to life their commitment to sustainability. From each bottle sold, $1.50 will be donated to Carbon Positive Australia in support of local tree planting and landscape restoration.
Carbon Positive was founded in Western Australia and has been restoring degraded lands around the country for the past 20 years. The charity has planted over six million trees and captured over 665,900 tonnes of carbon.
The Arbor Novae range includes: 2019 Margaret River Chardonnay; 2020 Pinot Gris from the Mount Barrow vineyard in Mount Barker; 2020 Grenache Shiraz blend; and the 2021 Old Vine Riesling from the Gibraltar Rock vineyard in Porongurup.
Howard Park's Chief Viticulturist David Botting says the Burch family is determined to leave their land in a more sustainable state for future generations. “It’s about legacy and integrity...the partnership with Carbon Positive allows us to extend our legacy beyond the fences of our vineyard and in doing so, helps secure a more sustainable future for all. Arbor Novae represents one new pillar of our sustainability ethos here at Howard Park and allows wine club members to enjoy unique and carefully crafted wines that reflect varietal diversity and vineyard character, whilst directly contributing to restoring our natural landscapes.”
A champion of WA, the Howard Park team has collaborated with Fremantle artist Andy Quilty on the Arbor Novae labels, which are bold abstractions of tree forms.
2019 Arbor Novae ChardonnayAn elegant and complex bouquet of spicy oak and ripe stone fruit is met by a fresh, zippy palate filled with bright acidity and juicy white grapefruit. Yellow peach, toasted almond, citrus blossom, meringue, and hints of vanilla mingle to construct a layered and appealing nose. The wine takes on a lovely shape as it moves through the palate carried along by fleshy orchard fruits and energetic acidity. Citrus pith, white nectarine, and toasted oats converge to create a long, lingering finish. RRP $35.
2020 Arbor Novae Pinot GrisThere is a glint of salmon pink within the green-tinged straw colour of this wine, highlighting some fleeting skin contact during pressing. A reticent nose opens gradually to reveal pear flesh and skin, guava, grapefruit and orange peel aromas. On the palate there is a welcoming hit of fresh fruit cradled in tingling acidity which exercises the salivary glands as the wine caresses the sides of the tongue. There is weight and texture which carries and mingles the fruit flavours observed on the nose and allows time for complexing hints of just ripe strawberry and white pepper to emerge, before a clean and well-balanced finish. A satisfying expression of the variety which conveys the potential for superb pinot gris to be grown in the Great Southern. RRP $30.
2020 Arbor Novae Grenache ShirazThere is a pinot-like transparency shot through the attractive deep ruby colour of this wine. The nose is an enticing mix of fruit, herbs and spice – raspberry and plum, black cherry, bay leaf and black tea, curry leaf and vanilla. The palate is fresh with bright, juicy acidity deepening into richer red fruit textures that evoke pleasing memories of childhood confections, and resolving with some chalky shiraz tannin that prolongs the finish and reasserts the spicy complexity in this eminently drinkable blend. The overall balance indicates great potential for medium-term cellaring. RRP $30.
2021 Arbor Novae Old Vine RieslingPristine, classic, and ethereal, this wine is a shining example of Porongurup riesling. Characterised by generous fruit, floral aromas and spice on the nose, the palate is driven by a strong line of lively, zesty acidity. Notes of lime peel, fresh cut grass, lavender, jasmine, white peach, green apple, and lemongrass meld together forming a captivating bouquet. The palate gains weight from flavours of rich citrus fruit while the juicy, mouth-watering acidity provides structure and finesse. The finish is dry with a distinct chalky texture and wisps of white grapefruit and ginger. RRP $30.
Chief winemaker Nick Bowen will produce small-batch wines, alongside the Howard Park range, from future vintages as opportunities and new varieties arise.
The Arbor Novae range is available now exclusively to Howard Park's Wine Club members. More information here.