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May 30, 2022 View:

Spanish wineries plan to improve vineyard health through biodiversity

Is it possible to reduce the use of phytosanitary products if the vines are grown in biodiversity-rich soils? Will these changes have an impact on the wines made?

Image courtesy of: Penin Guide Spain

These are some of the questions that Terras Gauda, a winery from the Lower Bay Appellation (D.O. Ras Baixas), hopes to answer with their new research project. The project will be carried out in collaboration with Finca Von Wigstein, an Argentine winery dedicated to biodynamic cultivation, to see if the same research findings can be applied outside of the Lower Gulf.

The main goal of the project is to improve the overall health of the vineyard by reactivating microorganisms to achieve biodiversity, Emilio Rodrguez, winemaking director at Terras Gauda, explains that activating microorganisms helps us to better balance the essential elements of the soil and the plants. To this end, they will try to implement biointensive procedures in areas where they are trying to improve the functioning of the plant-soil system, such as precise oxygenation of the soil in the vineyard, manual removal of excess buds, use of various plants to cover the soil, minimizing the use of phytosanitary products, etc.

Terras Gauda will analyze the changes produced by the application of these techniques in the soil, vines and final wine, and compare them to the vines and wine in the control area. They are convinced that changes in soil microbial diversity will affect the levels of oenological yeasts and bacteria.

The greatest scientific value of the project will come from the comparative study of the final conclusions of the Lower Bay winery Terras Gauda and the Argentine winery Finca Von Wigstein. One is located in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern hemisphere, they are located at opposite latitudes, their vineyards are located at different altitudes, and they have different soil structures and grape varieties. If the conclusions are confirmed, they will be of great significance for the entire field of viticulture.