Organic growing is founded on the belief that the healthiest living soils will produce the best grapes.
Organic grape growers pay close attention to soil biology, structure, and nutrient levels to enhance the fertility and life-supporting properties of their soils.
Maintaining and building organic matter and humus in the soil is a key focus for organic grape growers, including feeding and sustaining the communities of soil microorganisms that vines to access nutrients.
Many organic growers make and apply compost made from materials sourced on their properties. Planting of cover crops between the vine rows is another important organic practice, it opens up the soil structure and increases organic matter and fertility.
Mineral and liquid fertilisers may be applied, but all inputs must be certified organic and come from natural sources, such as rock dusts and seaweeds.
Many organic growers use compost ‘teas’ full of microorganisms to enhance soil and plant health.
By choosing to cultivate or mow under vines to manage weeds, rather than using herbicides, organic growers provide a hospitable environment for earthworms and other soil life to flourish.
Biodynamic growers add specialised preparations, made from plants, minerals and manures, to composts, which are spread on vineyards to further encourage soil and plant health.
All organic vineyards are audited every year to ensure that standards are met.
Organic certification standards require all organic vineyards to receive regular soil tests and that vineyard managers can demonstrate soils are kept healthy and fertile.