The saying ‘A rising tide lifts all boats’ is resonating strongly with me this month.
Our first four EcoVineyards workshops have taken place over the past few weeks and it’s become overwhelmingly clear to me there’s a significant groundswell in regard to sustainable viticulture, balancing our ecosystems and building resilience.
We’ve been incredibly lucky to have had a diverse mix of experts presenting on a range of topics at workshops in McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Adelaide Hills and Barossa. Each workshop has also had the benefit of hearing from Dr Mary Retallack and the local EcoGrowers who have happily shared their experiences to date and their EcoVineyards project ideas. Coonawarra and Clare EcoVineyards workshops will round out the inaugural events over the coming weeks.
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with growers embracing the concepts and the changes they can start to implement on their own properties to build biodiversity. Interestingly, every grower I’ve spoken to has taken something different away from the workshops. Whether it’s what native vegetation to plant, how to prepare a site, what is a biodiversity action plan, identifying beneficial vineyard bugs or learning the value of microbats – there’s been something for everyone.
I’ve also been particularly happy to receive comments from growers who will no longer be planting roses at their row ends and instead will plant Christmas Bush (Bursaria spinosa for those of you gifted individuals who understand the scientific names). Then there was the grower who has a real fear of spiders but has promised to really try hard not to kill them in future - good luck with that challenge! Remember every small step towards promoting increased biodiversity is a positive move in growing resilience in our vineyards.
I’m also thrilled to see the EcoVineyards project is generating significant state and national media interest. We’ve been profiled in The Advertiser, Stock Journal, Victor Harbor Times and more. Visit our EcoVineyards Facebook page to read all the stories and keep up to date with the latest news.
Finally, a HUGE thanks to Doc Adams Wines, Kimbolton Wines, Ngeringa, Chateau Yaldara, Wynns Coonawarra Estate and O’Leary Walker for hosting us in your regions. Your generous support is enormously appreciated. I couldn’t be more grateful to have such amazing businesses and individuals offering up your facilities and time for our EcoVineyards project.
As we head into the festive season, I encourage all our members and friends to grab a bottle or two from one or several of these fantastic wine producers and supporters of this amazing project - I know I will be!
The EcoVineyards project is supported by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program and by the Natural Resources Management Boards in each region through the NRM levy.