In a recent webinar hosted by the Wine Scholar Guild on the topic of climate change, Michelle Bouffard DipWSET brought out that there are only 60 Harvests left with us.
On broader level this means that the soil on our planet will last only for next 60 years if we do not tackle the issue of climate change with due earnestness. And my answer to today’s prompt relates to just that. I would like to be more informed about all topics (as relevant to wine industry) related to the umbrella term of climate change. Some specific ones are as below:
For today let’s discuss about the first one.
Currently we practice monoculture in our vineyards where only one type of crop i.e. vines are grown. Over the period of time agriculture scientists have come to realise that this system is not a sustainable one as it leads to a progressive degradation of soil. So what’s the alternative? Let’s see.
Often while driving through the countryside we notice lush green forests with so many different types of trees like Eucalyptus, Jacaranda, Gulmohar, Palm etc and we even go past banana groves and sometimes endless grasslands too. These all have been growing naturally without any human intervention since times immemorial. Same holds true in the jungles and natural parks also.
So the question arises that what’s sustaining this? Why isn’t the soil getting degraded in such natural environment whereas it getting depleted in the vineyards?
The answer is simple : Biodiversity
We have killed Biodiversity in our vineyards by growing only vines and also by using chemicals and pesticides to kill all the insects and worms in the soil. This has disrupted the nature’s regenerative cycles and resulted in a rapid degradation of soil.
Regenerative Viticulture implies a change away from this current system of monoculture and adopt regenerative agriculture practices in the vineyards so as to ushers back biodiversity in the viticulture ecosystems.
Ofcourse this is not going to be easy. But it can steadily yet surely happen by spreading awareness, education and creating support systems for vine growers.
Looking forward to reading your posts on today’s prompt too. Cheers !!