Meet the EcoGrowers
Region: McLaren Vale
1. Tell us about your experience in grape growing?
I have worked in the wine industry since I was a kid and have worked across all aspects of the industry. In addition to my other jobs in the wine industry, I have been managing our family vineyards in McLaren Vale for the past 20+ years.
2. What prompted you to want to be involved in the EcoVineyards project?
I have a strong belief that biodiversity in agriculture is positive on multiple levels. It’s good for the crops we are growing, good for the environment and good for the people that work in and around the vineyards
3. What do you hope to achieve from your involvement in the EcoVineyards project?
A further increase in the biodiversity around our vineyard and property.
4. Have you tried to increase biodiversity on your property before undertaking this project? If so, how?
We have been working closely with our regional Natural Resources Management team since 2010. We have worked hard to control weeds and have planted thousands of native plants around our property. Since doing so we have seen an increase in bird life and beneficial insects. It’s also it is much nicer place to work everyday thanks to the natural beauty.
5. Why do you think it is so important for growers to try and build natural resilience on their property?
Building natural resilience on our property is important as it helps decrease the amount of potential inputs into the vineyard. We’re hoping with the increase of beneficial insects around our property we can decrease our insecticide usage.
6. Looking to the future, what do you see as a new 'normal' for grape growers on their properties?
Growers will need to look at ways they can make the most of every drop of water by managing soil health. I also believe there will be increased pressure put on growers to minimise the type and amount of chemicals used in vineyards.
This project is supported by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, through funding from Australian Government's National Landcare Program.