Farming Practices

Biodynamic
Viticulture

Biodynamic viticulture is based on the 1924 teachings of Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian philosopher. It applies a holistic approach to a vineyard, treating it as an integrated whole and as a living organism in its own right. Some treatments such as sulphur and copper sulphate are the same as organic viticulture but it also incorporates special preparations, aimed at promoting microbial life and plant health by encouraging beneficial bacteria and fungi. Cover crops are also employed to help fix nitrogen thus eliminating the need for inorganic fertilisers. The work calendar is dominated by the cycles of the Earth, Sun, Moon and stars both in the vineyard and in the winery. Demeter, the main European certifying body also audits wineries, forbidding the use of enzymes, acid and sugar adjustments and laboratory yeasts. If a winery does not conform to this charter then the wine will just denote ‘made from Biodynamic® grapes’ rather than ‘Biodynamic® wine’.

Organic Viticulture

Organic viticulture avoids the use of systemic and synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and GMOs and places an emphasis on living in harmony with the environment. Since 2012, Ecocert, the principal European body for certification has also audited wineries to ensure the use of only certified organic products. Wineries that use both organic and conventional grapes must either operate two separate processing areas or receive the grapes on different days.

 

HVE Certification

Throughout our list we talk about HVE sustainable status. This certification is in our view an exceptionally well-rounded piece of legislation, looking not just at treatments, or blanket excluding precision care, but taking into account the entire biodiversity of the area. Encouraging hedgerows, greater biodiversity, allowing specific precision treatments to target just one problem, enabling farmers to preserve the health of their estate, their wildlife and their futures, not just the vines in the vineyard.

Conventional
(Non-Organic) Viticulture

Conventional (Non-Organic) Viticulture employs a number of practices which may include some synthetic sprays and fertilisers.

Minimum Intervention Viticulture

Minimum Intervention Viticulture is a non-certified approach that requires the grower to only intervene when absolutely necessary. This particularly refers to the spraying regime which will be conducted only when humid conditions threaten.

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