Quartz Reef has achieved Demeter Certification for Biodynamic Farming for wine grape production. The Central Otago vineyard is one of only six vineyards in New Zealand to have achieved full certification to date.
The achievement recognises Quartz Reef’s dedication to the precise requirements of biodynamic practice and is the culmination of a four year certification process involving onsite inspections and audits of vineyard management and practices.
A natural extension of organics, biodynamic growers take a wider holistic approach which demands rigorous attention to farming methods that are in harmony and balance with nature. The focus on understanding and managing the vineyard as a whole living eco-system gives rise to wines with a distinctive sense of terroir.
Quartz Reef winemaker and two-time recipient of New Zealand Winemaker of the Year, Rudi Bauer, says that achieving biodynamic certification is a very special milestone that reflects outstanding commitment from the Quartz Reef team.
“Our conversion to biodynamic viticulture is really just the beginning of a wonderful journey to further understand our beautiful vineyard being reflected in the most sincere way. We see biodynamics as the philosophy that will allow this to happen more and more.”
The concept of biodynamics was introduced to the world in 1924 by Austrian philosopher and educator, Rudolf Steiner. The development of industrial farming techniques had resulted in declining land fertility and livestock health. To revive farm fertility Steiner advocated use of biodynamic preparations and composting to increase microbial life, structure and nutrient availability in the soil.
Biodynamic practices employed at Quartz Reef include the introduction of plant strengthening nutrients in the form of seaweed application and companion planting to attract insects and increase organic matter in soil.
Mr Bauer said that an important element of their biodynamic certification journey has been the support of biodynamic pioneers including James Millton; Millton, Gareth King; Felton Road, Jared Connolly; Burn Cottage, and Nick Mills; Rippon.
Biodynamic certification is maintained by strict annual audit conducted by a Demeter accredited auditor.
www.nzwine.com.au, 16th February 2012