The grape vine in its wild state is a climber and its natural habitat was the forest. Over 5000 years ago man took the vine and began to cultivate it, presumably for wine. Wine-growers have long known the importance of soil, climate and the grape variety, a combination the French call “terroir”. Today we also understand the importance of viticulture the science behind cultivating the fruit.
Our organic principles
It is a well known fact that the creation of a great bottle of wine starts in the vineyard. The purity and quality of the fruit cultivated will dictate the quality and purity of the wine. Our philosophy behind the cultivation of our vines is simple, if we treat the environment with respect and work with nature, then in return we will be gifted with pure, clean and healthy fruit.
We at Churchview Estate pride ourselves in doing our bit to look after the environment. Over the last 20 years we have worked hard to convert the vineyard from a full conventional to an organic operated vineyard. This means that we do not use any agricultural chemicals on the property and those substances used to tackle disease are approved for organic farming.
Our management practices are based around the health of the soil. We work to keep the soil healthy and in return the vines will naturally be healthy as well. We carry out regular soil sampling to ensure that the soil is in balance, this ensures that the nutrients which naturally occur in the soil are readily available to the plant. By carrying out regular soil tests we can tell what the vines are actually using to produce the grapes and therefore only replenish the essential nutrients that are being used by the vine.
We maintain a complete cover crop between the rows and under the vines. This means we do not need to use any herbicides which have adverse effects on the overall soil health. Cover crops are made up of rye grasses and clovers which we let reseed before mowing and slashing. In the vineyard we will also seed lupins and clover to help the organic matter build up over time.
To keep our soils healthy we spread organic compost throughout the vineyard on a yearly basis. We follow this with regular applications of organic seaweed, fish emulsion and potassium humate. This is applied not just to the vines but to the cover crops as well. This helps to have a complete healthy and fertile environment.
In 2017 we applied for our Australian Certified Organic status and now, Vintage 2020 we can label our wines as “certified” organic.