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Environmental Responsibility

Chris Hancock, Bob Oatley (founder, died in 2016), and Sandy Oatley his son, walk side by side up a wide avenue between rows of vines

Robert Oatley Vineyards are tended as organically as possible and wines are made with minimal intervention, reflecting a dedication to sustainable grape growing and wine production practices. The team ensures available resources are used efficiently. The effects of the winery operations on the environment are minimised and materials are recycled wherever possible. The winery holds the ISO 14001 certification.

Close up of a bucket of red grapes in Mudgee with secateurs resting on the bucket edge


  • Minimal water used to supplement rainfall.
  • Water is applied in the vineyards by efficient drippers, not overhead sprinklers.
  • Soil moisture monitoring to improve water use efficiency.
  • Use of recycled water – winery waste & sewerage treatment works.
  • Limited Use of Chemicals, Care for Soil.
  • Spray regimes monitored for compliance with government and export regulations.
  • Soil structure being improved as rotary hoes are used less.
  • Annual cover crops improve soil structure & water holding ability and control weeds in between rows of vines.
  • Understanding of soil types to determine requirements.
  • Trellising, pruning systems and canopy management to raise the level of leaf to fruit ratio.
Freshly harvested red grapes with vine leaves and stems laying on top, awaiting sorting at the winery


  • Wastewater from washings, stormwater from designated areas and some waste processing is collected for processing.
  • We seek to reduce energy consumption and thus lower energy-related emissions and to alleviate overload on electrical transformers and circuits.
  • We monitor energy usage for different processes and particular equipment to determine actions to further reduce energy consumption.
Transferring the grape crush to a fermenter at the winery. Image credit Jack Atley
Image credit: Jack Atley


  • Green purchasing procedures
  • Reduction of packaging
  • Recycling