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Wine Diary

Soil Cultivation

May 22, 2020

While tending the vines, we also focus on the ground they are standing on. The soil literally builds the base of the wine. In the cultural landscape of wine growing, a vintner must continuously work for an advantageous and healthy location for his plants. Naturally, the conditions change vastly from site to site. However, this basically applies: no matter if we talk about loess, loam, gravel or primary rock, a lively, well structured and supplied topsoil has to be protected and maintained.

Living Soil

If we promote soil life, we will also improve its structure and fertility. One need only think of the beneficial contribution of rainworms.  This is only one, of many reasons why  we work the ground mechanically, we do not use pesticides, encourage green cover, use only natural fertilizers, beware, where it seems possible, little biotopes  as kind of small “islands of wild life” or build refuges for little living beings, such as “insect hotels” etc. Every measure has more than one reason or effect. By opening the soil and working the green cover prudently into the ground, we relieve the vines from competitors for water and nutrients while at the same time sustainably supplying nitrogen. However, the soil should not stay uncovered too long, as this would mean a higher evaporation eventually losing humus.

We often observe, that only each second row of the vineyard is green covered, or that the high standing grass is just mown or flattened while the turf is (partly) kept. This will help to better store the water and cool the soil beneath. Moreover, season, climate and weather will always change the basics of decision making. The weekend has brought cooler and rainy weather, and so the cards are being reshuffled. For instance, our seed mixtures, especially compiled and brought out by our team in autumn will now thrive!