Organic practitioners seek cooperation with nature and rely on an understanding of the ecological processes. The basis of organic farming is rich, robust, fertile soil and healthy, balanced vines through proactive management of plant, microbial and insect biodiversity. Organics encourages the use of diverse plantings and insect life, but permits only naturally derived plant protection products.
Simplistically speaking, the use of synthetic chemical products (soluble fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides) is prohibited.
For instance, natural compost, cover crops and livestock are used to enhance soil health. A resident population of beneficial insects is established to control pests and weed growth is managed mechanically by undervine cultivation or mowing. On a deeper level, an organic farm demands a great level of commitment from its farmers. Financial commitment is often greater and returns less. Skilled people are needed to do the vineyard work to higher standards. While the demands are higher, in return the land rewards the farmers’ dedication with greater quality and longevity.
Our Loveblock Farm, the anchor Estate Vineyard in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley is certified organic by BioGro New Zealand. We incorporate methods that are centuries old such as composting to promote biodiversity and build soil, but we draw from modern technology and equipment to make the vineyards more carbon efficient.