In The Vineyard
Guidelines for a high-level biodiversity in our vineyards
First- class natural wines can only come from vineyards of a high-level biodiversity. Therefore, promoting soil diversity is a primary objective for quality orientated viticulture. Soil biodiversity includes soil activity, genetic diversity, green manuring, hedges, leguminous plants, mixed crops, fruit trees, secondary crops, vertical diversity and wild plants.
We work according to the guidelines of ‘’Charta für Weinberge in Biodiversität’’ by Hans-Peter Schmidt, published in the Ithaka –Journal: http://www.ithaka-journal.net/charta-für-weinberge-in-hoher-biodiversität .
The charter sets forth the following measures:
- Promoting biodiversity in the vineyard through biological activation of the soils
- Creating permanent green manure with leguminous plants in the gaps between the vines
- Perennial greening which is rich in species of native flowers
- Planting of shrubs at the end of each vine row
- Planting of hedges as dividing lines at regular intervals between the vines
- Planting of fruit trees to improve vertical diversity
- Arranging of species-rich compensatory areas of at least 2x20m2 per hectare
- Providing structural elements such as piles of stones and wood as habitats for small animals
- Growing of at least one secondary plant culture between the primary culture
- Instead of grubbing up old vineyards over-aged vines should be replaced individually
This charter is the basis for the Delinat Guidelines, which are known to be the strictest guidelines for organic viticulture in Europe. (see: www.weinwissen-die strengsten bio-richtlinien europas und www.delinat-richtlinien für den biologischen weinbau)
One vineyard is never the same as another. The character of each individual cultivation area is determined by different soil conditions, climate, the height of the cultivated area and some other factors. Accordingly, every winegrower needs to focus on several different points if he wants to provide an ideal location of high-level biodiversity for his vines. The charter for biodiversity shows the path to success, in ten steps.
Guidelines for working the vineyard
- All grapes used for making wine must come from the winemaker’s own vineyards which he works himself.
- Only organic fertilizers may be used for fertilization.
- Greening should be cultivated by mowing, rolling and mulching.
- Lightweight tools should be applied for airing the soil close to the vine.
- Only plant products and plant extracts may be used to protect and strengthen the vines and improve the soil.
- Synthetic chemical insecticides,acaricides, nematocides, fungicides,herbicides and growth regulators are not allowed.
- Sulphites are only allowed in particularly urgent cases. Winegrowers should be encouraged to completely renounce the use of sulphites.
- Only new vine plantings may be watered for no longer than three years.
- Grapes must be picked by hand.
Although we have not yet been able to put all our guidelines for a high-level biodiversity in our vineyards fully into practice, the so far obtained good success shows that we have clearly ‘’reached the home stretch’’.