Tawse Winery

The next few months we will be featuring a few of our Winery clients! An interesting article on one of Borderline's largest and longest clients' wine making methods.

The term biodynamic is very scientific sounding but it is actually a very natural and holistic means of growing crops. At its heart, the biodynamic approach to producing grapes for wine production sees the vineyard as its own ecological entity. Beneath the rows of grape vines the soil is a living organism in its own right joined by flora and fauna that are co-dependent. The biodynamic farmer works within this ecosystem and does not alter the natural processes that exist. Biodynamic vineyards are intended to be self-sustaining entities. Ideally, they should be able to produce what they need, and expunge what they don’t require in a self contained manner without the use of anything sourced externally.

Biodynamic farming involves all major components such as biodiversity, soil fertility, crop nutrition, as well as pest, weed and disease control. It is based on the concept of the vineyard as a self-contained ecosystem requiring no pesticides, fungicides or chemical fertilizers. Here natural predators will be used to keep pests at bay, livestock will eat weeds and excess vine foliage as well as provide manure for soil enrichment. For healthy soil, it is necessary to have a system of manuring that will sustain its humus content, and maintain the microbiological life and earthworm population. Humus is vital to vineyard health as it allows the soil to hold both nutrients and water while enhancing the stability and structure.

Cover crops may also be planted between the vine rows to create extra biodiversity in the vineyards and provide shelter and food for beneficial fauna such as insects, spiders and predatory mites They also reduce the likelihood of erosion as they help support soil structure by sending their roots into the top soil, breaking up compact soil, and helping rain water penetrate. In addition they create competition for soil nutrients which forces the vine roots deeper. The deeper roots latch on to more mineral rich soil and avoid consuming rain water to quickly which can swell the grapes dilute the quality of the juice at harvest.

The wines produced through biodynamic methods have stronger, purer and more vibrant aromas and flavours. These methods lead to better balance in fruit growth, where the sugar production in the grape corresponds with its physiological ripeness. This means the wine will be better balanced in terms of flavour and alcohol content, even within the context of our ever changing climate.

Our biodynamic wines are not inexpensive to create nor are they produced on a large scale. Given the quality of the final product and the seriousness of the global environmental situation, they are worth the investment.

Learn more about Tawse Winery here.