22, May 2023
Meet Your Maker: Malcolm & Richard Leask
Hither & Yon are one of the leaders in sustainable wine growing and are South Australia's first certified carbon neutral wine business.
We caught up with brothers Malcolm and Richard Leask who are the driving force behind Hither & Yon’s passion for a better environment for the next generation.
Why are you passionate about sustainability?
Malcolm: It is something that everyone can do in daily life to improve their own health and wellbeing, by making conscious decisions about what they are consuming, it is really simple. Personally, for me it is most vitally about family and community, always enhancing the beautiful small part of the world we live on here.
For those that are not familiar with the term regenerative farming, can you explain what this means in your vineyards?
Malcolm: Richard best to answer but for me, it is a futurist way of thinking, that sustainability is the base line and regenerative agriculture is the continuous improvement, closed loop system for our land, specifically based on biota health.
Richard: It is a system that is based on land stewardship and improvement. It is the responsible use of our natural resources and understanding how we can use them to produce our product but to also put back into the system holistically and respectfully. Improving Soil Capacity (Carbon), Soil Microbial Diversity (soil health) and landscape Biodiversity (mixed plant species) and all keys to attaining this goal.
How do regenerative farming practices in your vineyards influence the wines you produce?
Malcolm: This came home very strongly when I visited a Willamette Valley RA producer in Oregon last week. It is truly a sense of place that the land is everything and trusting the vineyard environment in the wines. The wines exhibit characters of not just soil, but deeper geology, that provides a natural balance. What we see is not just texture, but tension in our wines, which makes them refreshing from grass to glass.
Why did Hither & Yon choose to be the first South Australian wine business to be certified Carbon Neutral?
Malcolm: We wanted to lead in this area because it is the natural flow on from RA [regenerative agriculture] and Sustainability, building carbon and sequestering in our soils. It also brings in other elements of biodiversity, renewables, retention and recycling. It is purpose driven too, providing something real we can improve on each year, lessening our emissions and drives thinking and creativity from our team. It is a trust mark for our customers and partners, we stand by what we say.
Richard: We aim to be a farm business for the future, putting back into our natural systems and removing what we can from our man-made systems.
What do you love about McLaren Vale Wine Region, both from a business perspective and personally?
Malcolm & Richard: We both feel very lucky to wake up here each day, raise our families, enjoy the community, in the rural countryside but close to everything you need. Business is second to that, we just have to appreciate that farming is hard work and enjoy what comes from that, with our team and customers. From a brand perspective, McLaren Vale is dynamic, forward thinking and we love talking about the region's unique characteristics and wonderful people.
What is your favourite variety to drink? and why?
Malcolm: I like whites/rose and lighter reds, because they can be drunk young and fresh, easy with our food's. It is like trying to pick a favourite child, impossible! However, I do like to compare varieties with the old world, from a new wave Australian perspective. So, for example, Vermentino, Carignan, Gamay is what I am enjoying at moment.
Richard: All of the above and loving the Greco and Nero. Grape varieties for the future.
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