Organics in the vineyard
All of our Vineyards are fully certified BioGro organic.
Why would you not be organic if you care about your own health, the health of your vines and the well-being of your vineyard staff? It is of course equally about quality. Healthy grapes make better wines and we are what we eat and drink. Organic viticulture and winemaking is also part of maximising the true terroir expression in our wines, giving them a deeper sense of place. Going into organics has never been market driven. The first objective has always been to produce wines of excellence; being organic is a welcome bonus for us and for those who enjoy our wines.
Instead of irrigating young vines once a day (the industry norm is five litres per vine per day throughout the growing season) our young vines are watered just once a week or fortnight, for between four and six hours. This sends the roots deeper in search for water and means that over time the vines can be weaned off irrigation completely.
Although the drippers are left in place in case of a very dry year, we have not used irrigation on the older vines since 2004. At FROMM over 60% of our vines survive with no irrigation and we estimate we save 9.5 million litres of water per year by encouraging our vines to draw the moisture from the soil. This means the fruit is getting its flavour from the land and gives each single vineyard a sense of place.
As well as saving water and the power needed to pump it, the vines produce better fruit with riper flavours and tannins – the vines shut down naturally in autumn which stops green flavours coming through.