Avondale Wine Estate, situated just outside Paarl on the slopes of the Klein Drakenstein mountains, is an internationally certified organic wine estate that is committed to the practice of organic, biodynamic and sustainable farming practices.
“We regard our wine estate as a dynamic living system where all its elements form part of a complex web of relationships that are interconnected and interdependent,” says Johnathan Grieve, proprietor, Avondale Wine Estate and pioneer of the BioLOGIC® approach to sustainable viticulture.
“The practice of BioLOGIC® farming is a combination of organic, biodynamic and modern science in a holistic approach. We are acutely aware that healthy balance in our vineyard eco-system, our wines and in our own lives is dependent on first achieving healthy balance in our soil. Chemically, biologically and physically the health of soil, water, plants, animals and humans are intricately inter-related.”
“‘Terra Est Vita’ i.e. ‘Soil is Life’ is at the heart of all we do,” continues Grieve. “It involves the removal of all chemical input (e.g. fertilisers, herbicides, insecticides, etc.), basically the removal of everything that kills life rather than promotes it. We have based our soil system on Dr William Albrecht, a US professor who many decades ago worked out the ideal chemical makeup for soil.”
There are 13 different types of soil on Avondale Wine Estate. The various soil compositions range from deep loam to Table Mountain sandstone with 75% decomposed rock, Villafonte, Kroonstad gravels to decomposed granite. “Each soil has very different properties, form and characteristic, that, in turn, is reflected in the wine,” continues Grieve.
“The trick to biological farming is to ensure that nature’s balance is maintained,” says Grieve who shares some examples that form part of Avondale Wine Estate’s BioLOGIC® approach to farming.
This approach focuses on various areas including the nutrient density of the plants, crops and soil, responsible pest control, cover crops to foster a thriving community of soil, actively restoring and re-establishing fynbos, creating conditions for natural nitrogen availability in the soil, and implementing a wastewater treatment system.
“We are committed to a holistic approach towards farming in harmony with nature,” continues Grieve. “When we despatch Avondale wines for local and worldwide distribution, we hold the intention that they will play a role in enhancing healthy balance and affirming joy in the lives of those that take pleasure in them.”