Microbiological Ecology and Biodynamics at Churton - Our unique yeast


The objective of biodynamics is to look after and encourage microbial ecology; which is the basis for all of biodynamics.

To encourage this microbial ecology, Churton makes its own compost, which is activated by the biodynamic preparations (502-507), and acts as “a large bioreactor, with the objective being to create large numbers of soil active organisms.” Spreading this compost over the vineyard helps establish and maintain Churton’s microbial population, and, as a recent study led by Dr Mat Goddard from the University of Auckland study suggests, can produce entirely new and unique strains of yeast species. In 2012 Mat and his team of research scientists compared yeast populations in conventional, organic, and biodynamic vineyards and found that there were larger populations of unique yeast species in organic and biodynamic vineyards, than in conventional ones. In particular at Churton there was not only an increase in yeast species populations, but Churton is home to 22 strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, 17 of which are unique to Churton’s Saddle and Loin vineyard sites.

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