Koonara Wines are the first vineyards in Coonawarra to be Certified to Australian Organic Standards.
Koonara Wines owner Dru Reschke, said even though they have been practicing organic viticulture for over 10 years, it’s great to finally receive official certification.
“We have not used any pesticides or herbicides in our Coonawarra vineyards for over a decade, as it can rob the soil of nearly all the good micro-fungi,” Dru said.
“The vineyard is like our bodies; get the nutrition right and it stays healthy and disease pressure drops, and so the number of sprays needed drop as well.”
The European Union recently voted to phase-out Glyphosate, commonly know as Roundup in Australia, over five years with a full ban to be enforced by the end of 2020.
The International Survey of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds reports there are around 103 subtypes and 63 weed species with herbicide resistance around the world.
“Going organic can actually be cheaper than regular management of a vineyard. It’s important to get a soil test done and then replace all the missing trace minerals.”
“Our aim was to increase organic material into our soil. Only 1% extra organic matter in the soil will hold an extra 177,000 litres of water per hectare, which is why we find weeds actually help, not hinder the vines.”
“The root systems of weeds are usually no more than 30cm deep, when they die off at the start of summer their roots provide organic straws for oxygen and water to get deeper into the soil, which aids the vines.”
Insects also play and important role in Koonara’s biodiversity plan.
“We have identified five wasp and three spider varieties, and even a Scorpion Fly, which are all completely harmless. These insects larvae feed on our vineyard pests such as Vine Moth – and many of those so-called weeds are also a food source for them.”
“One wasp – the Trichogramma Wasp, is only the size of the sharp end of a pin. It lays its larvae in the Light Brown Apple Moths eggs.”