Wine farming the BioLOGIC® way.
BioLOGIC® – creating living systems naturally
Avondale proprietor Johnathan Grieve developed the BioLOGIC® way of farming after joining the family estate realising how depleted the soil was from years of chemical abuse and a millennia of leaching. “When I joined, there were hardly any nutrients in the soil, and years of monoculture all but destroyed our chances of producing healthy, characterful wines. An extensive research and development phase was followed by an exhaustive development stage until; finally, we could implement BioLOGIC®. The results have been inspiring.”
Avondale’s ethos is ‘Terra est vita’, or ‘Soil is life’, and Grieve goes to great lengths to ensure there is a rich web of life in the soil. “We are acutely aware that a healthy balance in our vineyard eco-system, our wines and our own lives is dependent on a healthy balance in our soil.”
Grieve employs a number of innovative techniques on the estate to help ensure he works in partnership with Mother Nature, including:
- A particular focus on ensuring biodiversity, not only on the fringes of the estate but on the actual vineyards as well. “Multitudes of life forms reduce vulnerability, protect the ecosystem from shocks and enable it to restore and regenerate quicker. Biodiversity is a key indicator of the health of an environment and we go to great lengths to have as diverse and ecosystem as we are able to.”
- The use of natural predators to combat pests. Avondale makes use of beneficial bacteria to counteract vine disease at the micro level. “We also attract birds of prey to help control rodent populations in the vineyard, and snails are kept in check by our squadron of ducks.”
- The use of the latest advances in modern science to get continuous feedback about the health of the Avondale ecosystem, including the use of Leaf Sap Monitoring instruments. “Through these we make use of an instrument called a ‘Field Broadcaster’ which works with natural cosmic energies to stimulate healthy growth in vines.”
- A natural waste water system that uses a three-dam system interlinked by spiralling channels of cleansing reeds to emulate the way water is cleansed in rivers.
Connecting to the energy of place
Avondale makes use of the full spectrum of biodynamic preparations, which are akin to supporting healthy of the farm and sustain a lovely awareness of our special place the cosmos,” Grieve explains. Avondale also adheres to the astronomical planting calendar, which takes into account the influence of various cosmic forces on our natural environment. “For example, natural nutrition and biodynamic preparations are best applied during the full moon phrase. During this phase one has the greatest movement of sap in the plant and hence gets the best uptake and results.”
To further assist with this process, a Field Broadcaster is utilised on the estate. It is a self-driven agricultural pattern energy device with no moving parts and sets up an induction field of the patterns placed in its reagent wells. “Each Field broadcaster can broadcast to an area of about 1,500ha. Its use results in improved quality of the environment and thus has a great influence on the quality of the grapes. It is a key factor in our mission to ensure a healthy balance from soil to cosmos – a real holistic approach,” Grieve says.
BioLOGIC® – Continuous innovation
“BioLOGIC® is a systemic approach to continuously create conditions that are conductive to more and more life. We are always learning and reflecting, adapting and evolving, searching for better ideas and innovative concepts that enhance the BioLOGIC® approach, and that result in vibrant living systems. It’s a process that will never end,” Grieve concludes. Through this unique wine-making process, Avondale produces two white wines, three reds, a rose and a sparkling wine made in the Methode Cap Classique tradition.
For more information about Avondale, its range of wines and the BioLOGIC® wine-farming system, visit avondale.dev or stay up to date with news from the estate by reading the Avondale blog at www.biologicwine.co.za
Avondale produces seven wines: Camissa, a rose; Cyclus, a refreshing white blend; Anima, a lively Chenin Blanc; La Luna; a classic red blend; Samsara; a Syrah; Navitas; the flagship red blend; and Armilla; a joyous Brut made in the Methode Cap Classique tradition.