It is often said that the best wines are made in the vineyard, but what does that mean? What is it that makes a wine great? Is it simply what is in the glass, or do other factors influence quality?
For us, to create a spectacular product we deliberately place great importance on a number of aspects of our day-to-day activities which drive us forward and inspire us. Too many vineyards throughout the world allow short term gains to take precedence over the health of the ecosystem to which the vines belong. Our philosophy is the exact opposite – encourage biodiversity in the vineyard, build soil health and soil water holding capacity and in turn create the conditions within which very high quality grapes can be grown.
We spend a lot of time on our soil trying to promote microbial life, (the newly recognized heroes of all biological systems). How are we doing this? A big focus is compost and nutrition. We make compost regularly using on farm waste streams such as spent pressings from the winemaking process, cardboard, fresh forage that is growing around the property and local straw. This compost is mixed with wood chips and then spread by hand under the vines to prevent weed growth and to help with water retention. Over time, this mulch/compost mix breaks down and finds its way into the mid row and builds topsoil. This practice is complemented by passive cover cropping where cover crops are sowed directly into existing ground cover and allows to set seed and natural fertilizer applications, such as worm castings, locally quarried rock dust and compost tea.