Our season basically starts with pruning strategies in winter, not long after which spring will burst out in all its lush green vigour, a time which makes a farmer’s heart beat higher as the new vintage starts kicking off.
At this time of the year the first sprays need to be applied to protect the vineyards from fungal infections and insect ‘attacks’. Wedderwill has adopted a unique approach to deal with this problem not only from an organic perspective, but more importantly a biodynamic perspective, taking entire lifecycles of fungi, microbes, plants and insects into consideration and also their interdependencies. Not easy, but I promise you, it makes a hell of a lot of fun this way, more so than just spraying poison.
This for example means that we apply methods that rather chase away insects than kill them or introduce/support other predators that feed on what the conventional farmer calls ‘pest insects’. But it also means spraying products not harmful to the environment, products we make ourselves. Wedderwill has progressed with a spray program last year no one else has been using in SA. We did so, very successfully and could prove its effectiveness in a trial block. With this season starting new we are busy fine-tuning the application with the ingredients and machinery used and the methods applied. The principle of this spray program is based on the following ingredients:
We alternate the above spray in a two week cycle with a ‘compost tea spray’ we extract from a well matured and in the maturation phase statically vermicomposted cow and horse manure inoculated with a wide variety of anti-oxidative microorganisms and biodynamic preparations 702-707.
We use our cows to help contain weeds, but also their manure to make compost and biodynamic preparations.
Our overriding ingredient applied to our farming and wine making methods, is love.