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What is Sustainable Wine Grapegrowing?

Growing sustainable wine grapes is a journey, not a destination.
© Adapted from: Copyright © Wines & Vines

Sustainable grape-growing: an overarching approach

Wine grapes are grown in three ways: conventionally, organically, and biodynamically. Similarities between these three approaches include:

  • All of them rely on labour and energy as inputs.
  • They all necessitate land clearance to establish a vineyard.
  • Practitioners of each type are proud of their farming methods and believe they are the best way to farm.
  • All three approaches recognise the value of healthy soil in the success of a farm.

Differences between conventional, organic, and biodynamic:

  • In conventional viticulture, soil amendments, fertilisers, and pesticides are both manufactured and naturally generated.
  • Both organic and biodynamic viticulture restrict the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Both require soil development through the addition of organic matter through methods like cover cropping and compost additions.
  • Biodynamic farming varies from the other two in that it necessitates the procedures and inputs defined by Rudolf Steiner in an eight-lecture series in 1924.
  • A producer, for example, must utilise nine plant-derived “preparations” in crop management.
  • The majority are composted, while the rest are combined with water and sprayed over crops.
© Adapted from: Copyright © Wines & Vines
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Sustainability in the New Zealand Wine Industry

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