Soil biodiversity the missing link terroir


At Fancrest Estate we believe biodiversity in the soil biosphere is the link that creates wines with the taste of their terroir. Conventionally managed vineyard soils generally have biology dominated by bacteria. These soils promote the growth of grasses and weeds. Beneficial fungi, protozoa, nematodes and earthworms proliferate in untilled soils. It is the biological ooze secreted by these fungi that build soil structure and mediate between the soil and the plant, allowing the vine to absorb minerals it would otherwise be unable to.
Here at Fancrest Estate we have not tilled for 10 years and the soil is alive with white fungal mycelia. It is difficult to dig without encountering a spade full of earthworms. Weed control has also become easier and easier over the years. The few pest weeds we encounter are grubbed by hand.
As time has gone by it seems to us our wines are developing a "taste of terroir" that is quintessentially our own: minerally and earthy, reminiscent of our very special limestone soil.

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