FARMING PRACTICES

Preventing water evaporation and promoting water and nutrient absorption in the soil is key to the sustainability of the soils, the vines and therefore our business.

Cover crops are sown in March and April between the vineyard rows for several reasons: 

  • Moderating the temperature of the soils
  • Water retention in the soils 
  • Control of water/nutrient hungry weeds 
  • Root development conditions the soil and soil structure

These crops need to stop growing in Spring to allow the vines to flourish and to eliminate a habitat in which snails can thrive. Conventional farmers simply spray pesticide to kill the cover crops, but we prefer to roll them flat. This stops the plants from growing but allows them to decompose naturally, feeding the soil with essential nutrients and nitrogen. The mulch also improves the structure of the soil. 

Red clover is planted on the ‘bankie’ which is the raised part in which the vines are planted. It doesn’t grow high enough to interfere with the growth of the vine but acts as a mulch controlling weeds and evaporation. It also contains enzymes that fixate nitrogen. So,the clover plant absorbs the nitrogen from the air and then converts it into nitrates which the soil can absorb and use. 

Plant waste is chipped and applied as mulch to our vineyards to decrease evaporation.  

No harmful insecticides are used on crops. Instead, natural predators, Permipar and Limonica, combat pests such as mealie bug and thrips.