Patience is not something that was in my inherent make up – I always had a programme and made things fit around that. Then, 15 years ago I made a 180 degree turn and converted our vineyards to organic wine farming. I learned to follow the rhythm of the vines, to observe and listen, and not to impose my will upon them. I learned to be patient.
The main player in our organic world is the soil. It is incredibly generous and forgiving, but it demands that we fix up what we messed up, as well as a good deal of patience. There is a whole universe below our feet – billions of microbes, worms, micro-organisms and other things that create an environment for plants to thrive in without leaning on chemicals to make their lives easy. Chemical herbicides like glyphosate (Roundup) disrupt the soil balance by creating an artificially uncompetitive environment for plants by killing mainly weeds. But they also affect that vital soil balance – earth worms take off, soil microbes are disturbed and thus the nutrient supply to plants is diminished. Then of course the plants need non-organic fertilizer for nourishment and the cycle spins destructively.
Organic winegrowers do not use chemical herbicides or pesticides, we instead use biological means to create a healthy environment for vines to thrive. In the winery, we try not to tinker too much with the process, the grapes talk about their place in the bottle. It’s more what you don’t get that counts. Organic farming is a lifestyle choice and our organic certification is a source of pride for us.
Drink smarter, not harder!