Last weekend I went on a tour at Tamburlaine winery up in the Hunter Valley of NSW, Australia. It is an organic winery – one of the few in the region. It was a really interesting tour that looked at all aspects of wine production – from growing the grapes right through to bottling.
Our guide explained that the surrounding vineyards must not like them much, since because Tamburlaine is organic, surrounding vineyards can only spray their vines during certain conditions that will not impact the organic growing conditions at Tamburlaine.
I was pleased to see that, among other things, they collect and use their own rainwater, use solar power on site, insulate some of their storage areas by using a straw and mud construction method, and collect all their crushed grapes into huge composting heaps for use on their own vines.
I had heard this before, but was reminded on the tour that it takes the vineyards up to 10 years of practicing organic farming methods to qualify for their organic certification. 10 years is a very long time, and it made me think – this is how long it takes for chemicals previously used in the area to be eliminated or reduced to low enough levels in the environment, the soil and the plants themselves, to be considered organic.
So when you buy some organic produce next time you are at your local grocer, just think about the effort that goes into it behind the scenes, often unnoticed, to supply you with organically grown fresh fruit and vegetables (and wine). Or better still – start growing more of your own.
As always, please feel free to leave your best tips and advice on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AllOrganicGardening. I know that many of you have some great ideas, so please share.
Until next time, happy gardening 🙂