Wither Hills Pledges Support to the Oyster Recovery Partnership’s Goal of Planting One Million Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay

Wither Hills winery, located in Marlborough, New Zealand, is proud to support the Oyster Recovery Partnership, a Maryland-based 501(c)(3) non-profit that promotes the ecological restoration of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. Throughout the first half of 2020, Wither Hills has pledged its support via donation, with the goal of planting one million oysters, in order to create a healthier Chesapeake Bay.

With its northern portion in Maryland and the southern part in Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay is a very important aspect of the ecology of these two states, as well as several others. The Oyster Recovery Partnership believes that oysters are critical to reversing the Bay’s poor water quality and declining habitats. Given the significant ecologic role of oysters in the Bay, oyster restoration and aquaculture are two major strategies that provide restorative benefits.

As a winery that is deeply committed to sustainability, Wither Hills has a comprehensive sustainability program that address all areas of operations, from water conservation to energy efficiency, composting, waste reduction, civic responsibility and more. In addition, Wither Hills was part of a pilot program that helped to develop the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand accreditation, and has been SWNZ accredited since 2003. Wither Hills also earned its ISO14001 accreditation in 2008. This accreditation is the internationally recognized standard for environmental management. Since acquiring its Rarangi Vineyard in 2000, Wither Hills has also spearheaded the renewal and conservation of the Rarangi Wetlands–efforts that earned Wither Hills the 2010/2011 Habitat Enhancement Award at the Marlborough Environmental Awards.

“The Wither Hills team’s commitment to sustainability runs deep. They believe in being good stewards of their vineyards, good neighbors, and positive forces in their communities and beyond. The opportunity to support the Oyster Recovery Partnership was exciting to everyone at Wither Hills, as their mission is of critical importance at a time when we all need to come together to protect the health of our ecosystems throughout the world,” said Kate McManus, vice president marketing at Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, which represents Wither Hills in the U.S. market.

“We rely greatly on eco-minded companies like Wither Hills to help provide funding and resources for our important and ongoing work to rebuild oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay,” said Paul Schurick, director of partnerships for Oyster Recovery Partnership. “We are grateful for their support, and also their efforts to bring increased awareness to oyster recovery efforts and Bay health issues.”

About Wither Hills
Established in 1994, New Zealand’s Wither Hills winery is part of Marlborough’s southern landmark range, with estate vineyards throughout the esteemed Wairau Valley sub-region of Marlborough. The winery makes exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Rosé — varietals that are synonymous with this verdant terrain. Wither Hills is deeply committed to sustainability through its Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand certification, local and international conservation initiatives, and organic farming practices. As a result of this commitment, in 2008 Wither Hills earned its ISO14001 accreditation, which is the internationally recognized standard for environmental management. Within the U.S. Wither Hills wines are part of the Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners portfolio.

About the Oyster Recovery Partnership
The Oyster Recovery Partnership is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that designs, promotes and implements consensus-based and scientifically-sustainable shellfish ecological restoration, aquaculture and commercial fishery activities to improve the environment and expand economic opportunities in the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays and beyond. ORP believes that shellfish are critical to reversing the Chesapeake Bay’s poor water quality and declining habitats.