ORGANICS

In latter years we embarked on the 3 year certification process to provide verifications of our organic practices. Our whole farm property underwent certification by BioGro (Terrace Vineyard, olives, pasture etc, full certification attained in March 2016 and Roadside Vineyard attained full certification in March 2018)

Organics for us started years ago when Sue decided this was the direction she wanted the vineyard to take. This must have originated from being brought up on a dairy farm in Dorset where everything was pretty much self sustaining and composting was central to everything - even paper bags were re-cycled!! All their food was grown on the farm - the one exception her mother admitted to me one day, was the odd box of oranges she would sometimes purchase! - and so it must have rubbed off on Sue
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spider web vineyard harvesting pinot gris vineyard soil vineyard compost

THE WORLD OF ORGANICS

The soil is a living world in itself, comprising a multitude of micro-organisms such as fungi, bacteria, nematodes and protozoa. In a complex inter-relationship, these feed on excretions from the roots of plant, created by photosynthesis, and break down material in the soil into a plant available form.

A healthy and diverse soil biology will out-compete pathogens, and grow healthy plants, resistant to disease. Our focus was therefore to nurture and support this kingdom.

One of our key tools was hot-composting. We made this with lucerne straw, mulched tree and garden waste, cow manure and grape marc, the more diversity of materials the better! With this, our aim and intention was to feed the soil, rather than the plants directly.

Together with the use of other natural products such as liquid seaweed, fish and compost teas, we worked to build a healthy environment that kept disease pressure to a minimum.



WHY ORGANICS?

Why certify you may ask? The process is certainly rigorous - but for that very reason we believe BioGro provides the trusted, internationally recognised assurance to our customers that we worked truthfully to this regime. We believe passionately that the best way we can farm and care for the land's health and well being is to work with natural methods. We didn't seek to 'control', but rather to support - and enhance if we could! It was a work in progress. Each season brought new learning, challenges and achievements, and another little step along the way!

The most difficult time for us was at the beginning when there was no "quick fix" for unhealthy plants. Instead it was a slow process of re-gaining healthy soils and not fretting about weeds! Sure the vineyard may have looked scruffy at times, but once you get your head around the fact they are just plants and all part of the diverse picture, rather than a dead strip of glyphosated carnage, it all makes sense.

Compost also played a major part, and making the "mother of all composts" was one of Sue's great joys - she has become addicted to compost!! So it became a gradual transition, and with the help of Dan & Sarah Kate from the Maude Winery, who embraced the concept of organic wine-making for us, we finally produced a fully certified organic wine

BIODYNAMICS

Biodynamics provided us with a tool box to help build and maintain the vitality of the land. We worked towards growing as many of our own inputs as possible, so that the property ultimately becomes a self-sustaining organism. We tried to time our tasks with consideration to work with nature's rhythms, whether daily, monthly or seasonal. It is a fine-tuning that we felt would ultimately all help us to achieve vitality, harmony and vineyard expression in our wines.