81% of vineyards undertook specific activities to promote soil health in the last season.
New Zealand’s soils are the foundation of our industry, and maintaining the integrity of our soils is one of the most important areas of focus for the future of New Zealand wine. Borrowing from the land, healthy soil provides an essential ingredient to sustain our industry for generations to come, while directly contributing to the overall quality of our wine.
Our viticulturists and growers have important relationships with the soil because of its influence on the style and character of resulting wines. They pay close attention to soil biology, structure and nutrient levels to enhance the fertility and life-supporting properties of their soils. Many New Zealand vineyards are adopting practices such as the planting of cover crops between vine rows.
Viticulturists are natural innovators, looking for ways to improve soil health to support the production of quality wines and the delivery of soil ecosystem services across the vineyards of Aotearoa New Zealand. BRI has several projects in this space, exploring the impacts of vineyard management practices on soil microbial communities and collaborating with other primary industries to conduct research on topics such as regenerative agriculture.
Of the 81% of vineyards undertook specific activities to promote soil health in the last season:
- 46% of vineyards reduced their use of herbicides
- 23% of vineyards reduced cultivation
- 18% of vineyards trialled new inter-row plantings to increase diversity
- 64% of vineyards applied soil nutrients in response to soil tests