Burch Family Wines Blog

Compost is Not a Dirty Word on the Vineyard

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At Burch Family Wines, we’re committed to producing high-quality wines and to do this, we begin by maintaining our soils health to the highest standard by adopting both organic and bio-dynamic principles and practices.

"With super healthy soils, I know that those vines are healthier and better so you don't have to spray. You get better quality fruit and fine wine," says Jeff Burch, the CEO of the family-owned group of wineries.

In Margaret River and Great Southern, where our wineries are located, we’re lucky enough to be blessed with maritime climates and sumptuous, gravelly loam, meaning our vines are in the best location to produce high quality fruit. The vines still however require a helping hand and, to do this, we start with the soil.

"One of our viticulturists just loves compost and we have a huge compost turn over. After about 4 and a half months, you have this beautiful, black compost soil that you put back into the vineyard. This happens particularly in the Great Southern, because the soils there are so ancient,” Jeff says.

The compost boasts a whole host of benefits that lead to better quality grapes and a happier environment.

“We produce compost to improve soils on a self-sufficient scale,” says Chief Viticulturalist, David Botting. What that means is that because we compost, our vineyards are more water efficient. We’ve created a closed-loop, water-saving system that manages sustainable viticulture. Vineyards naturally use a lot of water, and we’ve developed a way to offset this.”

It’s not an easy process either and has taken the vineyard workers many years to develop the ideal methods.

“We’re getting smarter and smarter about composting,” says Botting. “Our process has been evolving over the years to produce high quality grape compost. It’s a trial-and-error system, and I think we’ve found the key. Now, the great thing is that our process and equipment is leading the industry and commercial compost producers are interested in our process because it’s that good,” Botting says.

 

Our compost is all part of our commitment towards environmental sustainability, and means we can set our vineyard up for an ecologically friendly future (and a future that involves producing some outstanding wine).

Category: Blog