Optimal Soil – Thriving Vines – First-Rate Wine
Are there areas of the vineyard that are underperforming? Having trouble with nutrient deficiencies or out of balance soil?
Your soil is a living entity, and like all living things can get out of balance and cause serious problems. Whether from over-fertilising, leeching, or removing nutrients via exporting cuttings you can end up with a vineyard totally out-of-whack.
And if you try and solve it via the old standard soil sampling, practised across the industry, you’re in trouble. From inaccurate results (its a bad measure of bio-availability) to bad sampling methodology. As you can see in the maps below, there can be significant variance in nutrients within a single vineyard – we’ve measured up to a 2000% difference within a couple of acres of the vineyard. Taking a couple of samples will not pick this up and lead to wasted money and effort.
But – a combination of scientific and technological advances have resulted in a superior tool for analyzing your soil.
Why Vineyard Optimisation?
- If you don’t know what’s actually in your soil: money is being thrown away on the wrong fertilizer, plants aren’t getting optimal nutrition, and it’s too hard to make informed decisions.
- Standard soil sampling measures a bio-availability of between 0.1% and 30.9% (depending on the element) while we see between 95-97%.
- Our measure of bio-available nutrients is irrespective of soil type – whatever you soil type we’ll tell you what’s accessible to your plant in it.
- If you’re using organic fertilizer – what’s in your fertilizer? This technique is of particular advantage to organic and biodynamic wineries.
- This is only possible because of recent advances in technology, particularly in mass spectrometry.
- We measure at least sample/acre as natural and man-made processes can cause more than a ten-fold difference in available nutrients within the vineyard.
- We also measure pH as it is critical in the bioavailability in nutrients.
- Our test also gives an indication of underlying geology which, along with soil, is key to the terroir.
- In a study in Australia it resulted in increased yields and quality, going from non-producing to prize-winning in one year. With Pentage Winery in BC, we completely changed their fertilizer regime.
- The result: optimal soil, thriving vines, and first-rate wine.
Rather than hoping that the compounds in your soil are available to your vines, you now know.
As discussed above, the method we use produces superior bio-available results. But, we also have 40+ years of running, interpreting, and communicating the results of complex surveys. We do things very differently. This means you’ll fully understand what we’ve found and have it in digestible, easy-to-understand formats that you can apply.
This new technology is an outgrowth of interest in precision viticulture – getting more accurate results while reducing costs long term. That means spending less on fertilizers and chemical pesticides. That means increased vine health and grape yield. That means better tasting wine.
Ultimately, its about getting results. Fixing one underperforming area in a vineyard can result in thousands of increased revenue. That’s the goal.