The foundation for strong, resilient vines, healthy fruit, and ultimately great wine lies under the earth’s surface. The network of influential factors is highly complex, yet a healthy ecosystem is not easy to recognise – busy activity above the ground with numerous bees, butterflies or birds and an opulent and diverse flora are visual evidence. We planted shrubs, bushes, and numerous fruit trees in our vineyards and allowed many already there to remain in order to provide an ecological habitat for beneficial fauna.
Soil vitality has not only an aesthetic dimension; biodiversity also contributes to increased vine resilience. Adverse environmental influences are better endured and deep roots encourage soil fauna and help prohibit erosion. Potential pests find numerous competitors and their population is thus naturally limited. All of these factors benefit not only vines and grapes, but also the vintner that works among them and ultimately also the wines and the consumer.
Illustration: excerpt from Ithaka Journal