Many people ask us why we decided to grow vines organically, and it’s true that managing an organic vineyard is not easy in this country! But we truly believe that organic viticulture produces better quality fruit and ultimately better quality wine.
Growing vines organically means that we avoid the use of herbicides and pesticides. But we’ve actually gone one step further, and are one of the only vineyards in the UK to follow biodynamic principles on the vineyard. Biodynamics excludes the use of artificial chemicals and encourages soil fertility and plant health by using compost teas and biodynamic preparations. For example, each winter we bury cow horns filled with manure on the vineyard. They are dug up in the spring and the contents sprayed on the vineyard to improve fertility.
We have actually seen first-hand in France and Australia the difference between the quality of soil on biodynamic vineyards and that on chemically sprayed ones. It is the difference between living and dead soils. Many of the great vineyards and wineries around the world are convinced by the biodynamic approach, including Cristal from Louis Roederer, Domaine Leflaive and le Roy in Burgundy, Coulee de Serant in the Loire, Beaux Freres in Oregon and Hensche in Australia.
Did You Know?Though we are one of few vineyards to practice biodynamic in the UK, we are not alone. Major supermarkets Tesco and Marks and Spencers follow the biodynamic calendar when the buyers do their wine tasting. The year is divided up according to the lunar influence into leaf, flower, root and fruit days and fruit days are regarded as the most auspicious for wine drinking. It is believed that the wine actually tastes better on fruit days.
"But does it make a difference to the wine?" I hear you cry! Well, if you ask us, biodynamic practices in the vineyard encourage a natural harmony between the earth, the vine and the cosmos as nature intended, without the need to use systemic chemicals. We believe that this results in a more naturally healthy bio-diverse and sustainable vineyard, producing better quality fruit and ultimately better quality wine, with a unique sense or place or terroir. You can find out more about the differences between conventional, organic and biodynamic vineyards and wine here.