Reducing greenhouse gas emissions – Raidis Estate

Raidis Estate has been focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through integrated pest management and efficient irrigation practices.

Raidis Estate is a 21 hectare vineyard in Coonawarra, owned and operated by the Raidis family. Securing certification with Sustainable Winegrowing Australia was an easy decision for the family. They’ve always prided themselves on being sustainably minded, and this certification was the perfect way to highlight that commitment. They believe that certification is another way of letting consumers and partners know that they’re walking the talk when it comes to eco-friendly winemaking. It’s not just good for the planet; it’s good for business, too.

Market demands for sustainability certification were another important reason for the business to seek membership with Sustainable Winegrowing Australia and, within twelve months of joining the program, the vineyard became certified.

Steven Raidis commented that “The best part of becoming certified was the opportunity it provided to thoroughly examine our business. It allowed us to take a close and comprehensive look at our operations, performance and processes. This introspection revealed the tangible outcomes of our hard work and dedication. Certification not only validated our efforts but also highlighted areas of success and improvement. It served as a valuable checkpoint, enabling us to celebrate achievements and identify avenues for growth. This process, prompted by certification, ultimately contributed to a more informed and strategic approach to our business, fostering a deeper understanding of our strengths and areas that may require further attention.”

The business philosophy at Raidis Estate is to leave a small footprint on the land and to achieve this there is a focus on production numbers. When approaching tasks, Raidis is driven by the question ‘can we do it a bit better?’ Inputs into the vineyard are only applied when there is strong evidence that they will make a meaningful difference and they will help to achieve healthy vines and the best quality grapes possible.

Raidis goats in vineyard
Bringing goats into the vineyard after harvest keeps the weeds down and removes any remaining bunches, reducing disease inoculum.

By taking an integrated pest management approach, pest and disease pressure in the vineyard is minimised which has led to fewer tractor passes in the vineyard. Coupled with careful monitoring and efficient use of water, this has resulted in very low greenhouse gas emissions from the vineyard, which also saves money.

“It’s not just about our personal beliefs; it’s a way to tangibly show the world our commitment to sustainable practices in the wine game.”

Pest and disease management

At Raidis Estate, pests and diseases are managed using a preventative spray program applied at intervals determined by weather conditions. Additional measures taken to minimise fungal diseases include keeping the canopy open by positioning the canopy with foliage wires, trimming, leaf plucking and shoot thinning when necessary. No insecticides are used in the vineyard.

Weeds in the undervine area are left to grow during the growing season but are controlled by slashing quite close to the vine trunks. In 2022/23, the vineyard mid-rows were slashed six times. No herbicides have been used in the vineyard for the past three years. Immediately after harvest, goats are brought in to graze the vineyard reducing the need for further slashing and to keep large weeds under control. The goats also eat any bunches that are left behind, which, anecdotally, contributes to reduced disease pressure in the following season.

In 2022/23, the total number of tractor passes used on the vineyard at Raidis Estate was at the median for the region due to the absence of herbicide and insecticide passes relative to others in Coonawarra.

Raidis tractor passes
Raidis Estate ranked 50% for the number of tractor passes made in the vineyard in the 2022/23 season, that is, they were at the median when compared to other members in Coonawarra.


Irrigation management at Raidis Estate is based on experience, knowledge of the soil, observation of the vines and monitoring the weather. Irrigation is scheduled based on daily visual observations of the vines. The seasonal approach is to apply the first irrigation when soil moisture reserves are low. Long irrigation shifts are applied to ensure that water reaches the deepest vine roots. In 2022/23, the total irrigation applied was 0.4ML/ha, which was in the lowest 14% of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia members in Coonawarra (Figure 4).

Raidis irrigation

Total irrigation volume used (ML/ha) in 2022/23 at Raidis Estate was in the lowest 14% of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia members in Coonawarra.

Energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions

In 2022/23, the low number of tractor passes achieved through strategic disease and weed control, coupled with low volume of irrigation and a very efficient pump (as detailed in the images above) translated to very low diesel use and total greenhouse gas emissions, both ranked in the lowest 2% of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia members in Coonawarra.

Raidis Diesel
Diesel use per hectare at Raidis Estate was in the lowest 2% of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia members in Coonawarra in 2022/23.

Total greenhouse gas emissions per hectare generated at the Raidis Estate vineyard in 2022/23 were also in the lowest 2% of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia members in Coonawarra and in the lowest 1% of members nationally.



This case study was developed by the Australian Wine Research Institute with support from Steven and Emma Raidis from Raidis Estate, the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council and the Limestone Coast Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare program.