We utilise inter-row planting and sow cover crops and wildflowers amongst endophytic grass in every second row. Endophytic grass is used to deter grass grubs, which can damage the vine roots in larvae form and the vine leaves when they become beetles. The cover crops help improve soil structure, natural drainage and prevent erosion, while also increasing soil carbon.
We plant a seed mix of 60% oats, 20% peas, and 20% beans, and in every tenth row a wildflower mix containing buckwheat and Lacy phacelia. The wildflowers attract beneficial insects that help keep pests away from our vines.
We graze a large flock of Merino sheep in the vineyard between May and August, along with a small flock of Babydoll sheep which we own and manage. The sheep eat the grass and weeds and help keep the vine rows tidy reducing the number of passes we have to make with a tractor.