Thursday February 26, 2015
Here at Mt. Beautiful, we use sustainable farming methods. We grow flowers and other plants that attract beneficial insects in and around our grapevine rows. The beneficial insects prey on the insects that could potentially damage our vines and resulting grapes. Additionally after these have flowered and served their purpose, the organic plant matter from these flowers and plants adds nutrients to our soil. This careful practice allows us to limit our use of insecticides and chemical fertilizers in our farming practices, and so trace amounts of these chemicals do not end up in our wines either.
To further break it down, We plant a mixture of Phacelia and Buckwheat in rows approximately 16m apart, as this is how far the insects will travel to the next flowers. That means we plant it every 8th row in our 2m rows (Pinot Noir) and every 6th row in our 2.4m rows (Pinot Gris, Riesling & Chardonnay). We plant oats and peas every fourth row in the Sauvignon Blanc for soil fertility and for organic matter.
The idea behind the flowers is that they will attract beneficial insects into the vineyard that will attack the undesirable insects that cause rot or botrytis through their presence. We are letting nature do its thing, instead of spraying insecticides, which inevitably kills both good and bad insects. The additional bonus of increasing the insect population is that it attracts birds, who also do their part by eating the insects. It’s a Beautiful circle of life!
Not only do our beneficial flowers deter pests, they also add some more beauty to our vineyards.
Drink Beautiful and be healthy!