Thursday, 10 June 2010
You can use one spray of one litre of glyphosate weed killer and go off and find something better to do or, you can invest in kilometres of plastic mulch, buy a gas weed burner and mow ten times a year using gallons of diesel pumping loads of Co2 into the atmosphere. It's the same with plant sprays - you can go through your vineyard burning up gas every day with compost teas and biodynamic treatments but one single spray of a chemical like CBZ will do the job.
How organic can we be when oil gets too expensive or runs out? The amount of work that you can acheive in spraying, mowing, trimming and general transport of heavy stuff with one small tractor is amazing and you really appreciate the back breaking toil that agricultural workers had to go through. Trust me, I've shovelled enough shit to know what it must have been like!
I rejoice that we have the choice in how we manage land but can't help feeling that taking the completely "natural" way is actually a luxury in that you have a lot of spare money to invest in labour and the risk that you can lose a whole years crop without going bust.
Rightly or wrongly we have taken a middle route where sometimes you just have to spray to avoid days if not weeks of work but, there is also huge biodiversity in the vineyard. Ladybirds are eating aphids, grasses are suppressing nettles in the rows, foxes are keeping the rabbits down and if you remove a single thing from the whole chain then you immediately get something else predominating. We have just put down bait for mice because they are killing some of the vines... now waiting to see what will have lost it's predator.
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Once they became too old quality often wasn't sufficiently good to make it worthwhile anybody else taking it over. Todays self proclaimed experts are really quite snooty about these people now that they feel they're part of a real proper wine region but, the old guard gained a lot of satisfaction and made many of the mistakes that we now routinely avoid. Their wines were often searingly acid and packed with sulphur but, I bet some of these 15-20 years later are suprisingly good.
When we planted, we had the view that possibly our only measure of success would be in 20-30 years time would it still be here and would somebody want to buy it or take it over. You don't hear about Clos Vougeot or Stags Leap being grubbed up for lack of interest when somebody retires! Our aim is to make really full on no compromise great wine, well, you have to have a goal. It may not happen very often if at all, it may not be universally recognised and it most certainly won't make us a fortune but it will be viable.
Posted by Guy at 16:29
Monday, 7 June 2010
Posted by Guy at 11:19