Fully accredited member. Membership No. HB1023
Brent (Vineyard Manager) is passionate about growing grapes in a sustainable and natural way. He believes that other plants, insects and birds have a useful role to play in the vineyard. Flowering plants are encouraged to grow in the grass strip; this ensures that the beneficial insects will have a food source most of the year as well as adding the benefit of providing good mulch when they are mown.
The Vineyard also uses the least amount of water possible. This is achieved by utilising soil moisture monitoring equipment to indicate when to water and drip irrigation to get the water right to the area where it is needed with little waste. This approach reduces the use both of water and the energy required to pump it.
Management techniques are used to minimise vine disease, such as keeping an open canopy to allow air flow over the fruit and using precise manual interventions instead of machines, whenever possible.
Consequently we have brightly-coloured ladybirds and song birds throughout the year, and during the summer months, swallows fly low over our reservoir, chasing insects.
This low intervention approach attracts a wealth of bird life, including swallows, skylarks, turkeys, pheasants, finches and quails, dabchicks (in the dam) and paradise ducks (in the lake). Occasionally swans visit on their way and stop-over for the night. We use sheep from July to late August to keep the grass growth under control.
We have been a sustainable vineyard from the time we started planting the first vines. But sustainability is more than a logo and a set of rules, written by someone else; we see sustainability as simply the right way to go about looking after the land that supports us and our children.
In the meantime our vineyard has achieved full organic status ('BioGrow') from the 2016 harvest onwards.
Skylarks | Swallows | Quails | Turkeys | Pheasants | Finches | Dabchicks (in the dam) | Paradise ducks (in the dam) | Occasionally swans visit on the way through and stop for the night. Then once in a while one of the many swallows that nest in our shed will swoop into the office and fly a couple of circuits before ducking out the door again.
We use lambs from July to end of August to keep the grass short. They are quite comical butting heads and bounding around the fresh grass. This year we had an orphin lamb in the office as the mother passed away overnight and the farmer needed to collect 'Mary'. Apparently there are one or two that need to be hand reared each year. The last we heard she was doing well.