The sustainable vineyard management practices used in the De Fazio Vineyard are very environmentally friendly and have been practised for generations.
Angelo’s father believed you should never put anything in the ground that nature hadn’t intended. Counting spiders and ladybirds on the vines was always his way of ensuring nature’s balance was being maintained. Only minimal spraying is undertaken in the vineyard, using the basic organic sprays that have been used for decades. No pesticides are used, with weeds controlled by tilling.
Have you ever driven around after a big storm and noticed trees blown down in front lawns, but native bushland still standing?
You may already know the reason for this – it has to do with root depth. Trees grown in lawns typically have relatively shallow root systems, as they’ve grown accustomed to regular, shallow watering. Trees grown in bushland, however, have had to send roots deep down to find natural water sources in order to survive.
Vines grown with minimal water from planting behave in the same way, so this practice is employed on the De Fazio Vineyard. They also leave new vines to sprawl for the first two years before being trained.
While Angelo’s father was no expert in this area, he believed vines grown in this way would take up particularly intense flavours from the minerals and trace elements found deep in the ground, that shallow-rooted vines could never reach. And judging from the delightfully long palates of the wines, he was right!
It’s all about letting the vines find their own state of balance, so that they’re perfectly suited to their environment, and should not be confused with the potentially damaging process of deliberately stressing the vines.
Of course, there are times when additional watering simply must be provided, such as in times of drought, and a drip irrigation system has been installed in the De Fazio Vineyard for this purpose.
Pruning is another essential element in their efforts to help the vines maintain a state of natural balance. Every De Fazio vine is hand-pruned to suit its individual requirements, and this is done in exactly the same way each year.
All pruning off-cuts, of course, together with grass clippings, find their way back into the soils – a great way of building top-soil nutrients (with the help of our friendly earthworms).
Native flora and fauna
Native grasses play an important part in the vineyard practice, and are allowed to grow down the middle of all vine rows. This reduces the growth of weeds and provides a home for many beneficial insects that prey on unwanted ones.
The native trees that surround the vineyard also provide homes to many native birds, which are extremely territorial and chase out grape-eating, non-native birds.