Thursday, 28 November 2013

Albury Wine Club membership for 2014 now open



Following the tremendous success of our new Albury Wine Club, which sold out soon after it's launch, we are pleased to be able to offer some additional memberships for 2014*.
The Albury Wine Club is for wine and food lovers who are interested in English wines, especially those produced by our vineyard!
The club provides an insight into UK viticulture, as well as the inside story on what’s going on at the vineyard. Members will have an early opportunity to buy the wine at discounted prices and be the first to receive invitations to wine and food events being held at the vineyard.
Membership for 2014 is priced at just £60 per person** and includes:
  • Two complimentary bottles of the award winning Silent Pool Rosé, as served on the Royal Barge as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
  • Priority allocation of our first Albury Estate bubbly, expected to be released for Christmas 2014.
  • 10% discount on all wines purchased direct from the vineyard. 
  • A free of charge members event at the vineyard and a first tasting of the years vintage, prior to its release in June.
  • The opportunity to get involved in the harvest in October/November.
  • An invitation to the harvest party in November (free for all those involved in the harvest). 
  • Regular email updates giving you the inside track on what's happening at the vineyard.

* The membership year runs from 1st May to 30th April (the vineyard year)
**A couple can join for £75 but will only receive one bottle of Silent Pool Rosé each.
Premier Cru Membership
This year we are introducing an exclusive Premier Cru Membership, priced at £480/year, for those of you who would like to get more involved with the vineyard. The following additional benefits are included:
  • The lease of 20 vines, with the option of looking after and harvesting them yourself (with our supervision).
  • A personalised tour of the vineyard, including a tasting of English wines, for up to 6 people.
  • 12 bottles of Silent Pool Rosé and 6 bottles of Albury Estate Sparkling, all signed by the winemaker.
  • A visit to the winery during the production process.
  • A complimentary invitation (for two people) to an exclusive wine and food tasting evening, hosted by a Master of Wine, featuring a range of English wines and delicious artisan food from local producers.
Membership is strictly limited. If you would like to join, please visit our website www.alburyvineyard.com

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Biodynamics - My madness is contagious!

Stained glass window in Firle Church

For some, biodynamics is complete madness but I don't care. Just because many of the principles of biodynamics cannot be explained by science it doesn't mean that they are meaningless... and I'm in good company!

Last week Alex and I buried cow horns, filled with manure from a lactating cow, which over winter will harmonise with the sub-molecular energies of the vineyard. In the Spring we will dig these up and dynamise the contents in water, which will be sprayed on the vineyard to encourage growth and strengthen the vines against disease.

During the next few weeks we will add some herb based biodynamic preparations to our compost pile including Dandelion, Stinging Nettle, Chamomile, Horsetail, Valerian and Yarrow. In December we will start pruning, but not before we consult the Biodynamic calendar to make sure that the moon is in the right phase.

In the winery our biodynamic wine is fermenting happily with only the natural wild yeasts from the vineyard, giving it flavour characteristics with a sense of place or terroir. Even Ulrich, our Silent Pool Rosé winemaker, produced his own Pied de Cuve with our grapes! Benoît, a french student who has been working with us on the vineyard  says "my madness is contagious".

For me, I'm just happy to be in the company of great biodynamic vineyards including Romanée-Conti, Domaine Leflaive and Leroy in Burgundy, Maison Chapoutier in the Rhone, Coulee de Serrant in the Loire, Beaux Freres in Oregon, Reyneke in Stellenbosch, Hensche in Australia and Jean Pierre Fleurie in Champagne.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The 2013 harvest is a great success


With the help of family, friends and the Albury Wine Club, we completed this years harvest on Saturday. It was a great effort all round but particular thanks must go to Alex, JB, Peter and Benoît, who worked tirelessly throughout the harvest.

Overall this year's harvest was a great success, with a yield of nearly 25 tonnes of clean top quality fruit (compared to only 3 tonnes last year!).


As a result of the growing season being late, sugars were a bit low so we decided to leave any unripe grapes on the vines.  Quality sparkling wine is made from fairly acidic grape juice anyway, so we have every confidence that the Albury Estate sparkling 2013 will be a great bubbly. The flavour of the juice is excellent and full of phenolic ripeness. Sadly we will have to wait until 2016 to find out just how good it will be; once the wine is made it will be bottled early next year for secondary fermentation and left for at least two years to give it fizz and character.

We picked only the ripest bunches of pinots for our Silent Pool Rosé which should be released towards the end of May next year.



We will have a bit of a break during the rest of November but in December pruning starts for all 21,000 vines and the whole process will start again! Fortunately Alex loves pruning!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The 2013 Harvest Begins

Paul, me, Alex, Benoît and JB

The 2013 harvest started yesterday, with a first picking of the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes for our Silent Pool Rosé. Sugars are a bit low this year, partly because the whole season is a few weeks behind, but also because the grapes have absorbed a lot of the recent rain which has diluted the grape juice a bit. We need fairly high sugars for still wine so we decided to selectively pick some of the very ripest grapes for our still rosé.

This week we are planning to pick the remainder of the pinots which will be used as part of a blend for our quality bubbly. Subject to the weather, the Chardonnay will be picked by the Albury Wine Club, family and friend on the 2nd November.

Overall its looking pretty good this year. Yields are fairly high and quality should good, although we would have liked sugars to have been a bit higher. After the storm tonight we will hopefully get a few rays of sunshine before we pick the remaining crop.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Harvest date set for Saturday 2nd November


It's been another difficult year on the vineyard, with the recent rain playing havoc with the sugar levels in the grapes. However, subject to the weather (!), Saturday 2nd November is now set to be the harvest day for Albury Wine Club members, family and friends. We probably won't pick if its raining heavily so it might be necessary to move it to the Sunday or Friday.


The day will start at 8.00am for a bit of training and a health and safety briefing. We will break for a sandwich lunch at around 12.30pm and aim to finish by 4.00pm. We can only cater for around 60 people and we already have around 40 registered (priority has been given to Albury Wine Club members). If you would like to be involved, and haven't already registered, please email me at nick@wenmans.com Pickers will be invited to a harvest party later in November.

We could still do with the fruit ripening a bit more, so let's hope we get some sun by the end of next week.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Botrytis - not Noble in the UK



The recent damp weather has resulted in Botrytis on some of the fruit. It's not too bad at the moment, and is mainly restricted to the Seyval, but the later we leave picking the more it will spread. As a rough rule of thumb the level of infection normally doubles every week.

Botrytis, or bunch rot as it is know in viticulture, is a fungus that attacks the fruit as it begins to ripen. It thrives in high humidity and still overcast weather. Fruit that has been damaged by insects or birds is particularly susceptible. In some warmer countries, where drier afternoons follow damp early mornings, Botrytis remains dry and can result in "nobel rot" which is used to produce excellent sweet wines like Sauternes or the Aszu of Tokaji. No such luck in the UK!

As we don't use systemic chemicals, we try and prevent Botrytis by thinning the canopy during the summer (to allow air flow) and also use a bacillus (Serenade) which can reduce early infections. Some botrytis is acceptable in the winery but if it's more than 5-10% it can be a real problem especially for sparkling wine production.

We've been cutting off some infected fruit earlier this week. Hopefully we will be able to pick soon but as sugars are still on the low side and acids a bit high it might be a couple of weeks before the harvest.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Biodynamic Wine and Pied de Cuve



Earlier today we prepared a Pied de Cuve, which is maybe the first time it has ever been made in the UK.

The purpose of a Pied de Cuve is to cultivate the yeasts on the skins of the grapes, so that these naturally occurring yeasts can be used to ferment the wine, rather than a commercial yeast that would normally be added in the winery. Yeasts have their own flavour characteristics and by using yeast from the vineyard we will hopefully produce a wine that has a greater sense of place or terroir. Biodynamic wine can only be produced with naturally occurring yeasts, which is also a requirement of the Natural Wine movement.


To produce a Pied de Cuve some grapes are picked about a week before the harvest is due to take place. They are then crushed by foot (Alex a somewhat less than willing volunteer!) and the whole mix is then put into fermentation bin so that the yeasts on the skins come into contact with the juice.

Hopefully it will start fermenting in a few days time and we will then have to monitor the growth of the yeasts. The resultant Pied de Cuve will be used to kick start the fermentation process for a larger batch of wine.

It's a bit of an experiment this year as its too risky to use this process for the whole production. However, if it works it will be fascinating to taste the difference between the biodynamic and organic Silent Pool Rosés made from exactly the same juice.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sulphites in Wine


Sulphur Dioxide in wine has been the subject of much debate in recent years, with many consumers arguing that it contributes to hangovers as well as numerous other health problems, including breathing difficulties for asthmatics, sneezing and swelling of the throat.

All wines contain sulphur dioxide in various forms. Even if it isn't added as part of the wine making process, wine will naturally contain up to 10 milligrams per litre. It is only a legal requirement to state on the label that the wine Contains Sulphites if there is more than ten parts per million in the finished product. This isn't much help to consumers as nearly all wine contains more than 10mg/l.

SO2 is added to wine as an anti-oxident but often more SO2 is added than is necessary. Under EU law up to 160mg/l is allowed for red wines, 210mg/l for white/rose wines and 400mg/l for sweet wines. As a supplier of organic wine we are restricted to 90mg/l for our Silent Pool Rosé but always try to use less.

This year we are aiming to produce a small batch of biodynamic wine with no or very little added sulphur. At the very least we will restrict it to 40mg/l, which is the level generally accepted by the Natural Wine Movement which is gaining momentum throughout Europe and the New World.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Our first taste of Albury Estate sparkling


Together with winemaker John Worontschak, and Stephen Skelton MW, I excitedly tasted the very first bottle of Albury Estate sparkling wine earlier today, a NV blend of wines from the 2011 and 2012 vintages.

It was only bottled earlier this year and has therefore just been through secondary fermentation to give it it's fizz. It will continue to rest on the yeast in the bottle (known as sur latte) for at least another year to develop it's character.

It's far too early to make a final judgement but I was delighted with the results so far. Stephen commented "Whilst the wine was still young and heavily influenced by the evident yeast sediment, it had good structure, with a fine, slightly creamy acidity and good length. Given another 12 months on the yeast, and with the right level of dosage (sweetening wine), I am sure it will be excellent."

Sometime next summer we will decide whether to release it for Christmas 2014 or wait until the summer of 2015. Not sure if I can wait that long!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Veraison and the Harvest


We are probably still 5 weeks away from the harvest as veraison is late this year. It started week beginning 26th August with the Seyval, week commencing 2nd September for the Pinot Meunier with the Pinot Noir a week later. Last week the Chardonnay were still pretty green.

Grapes have two distinct growth phases. The first phase is when the cells divide and expand and the grapes begin to swell and fill out the bunch. Veraison is when they move to the second phase, when the acidity decreases and sugars are accumulated which gives them colour.

The level of sugar accumulation in the berries is dependant on leaf photosynthesis, which is why we could do with some more sun! As we have a lot of fruit on the vines this year its going to be quite a struggle to get them ripe and as a result the harvest is likely to be in the second half of October or even early November. The later it gets the more prone we are to botrytis bunch rot.

As the fruit begins to ripen it becomes more attractive to the birds (and the pheasant) so we have started to deploy the Hawkites and will be netting parts of the vineyard.

There's always something to worry about on the vineyard!

 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A Biodynamic quartz tonic for the vineyard

Alex dynamising 501

We were up very early today preparing biodynamic preparation 501 to spray on the vineyard.

Biodynamics is based on organic practices but also uses natural energy forces (like those generated by the moon), medicinal plants (such as yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle and dandelion), as well as mineral and natural cow manure composts. This strengthens the vines and produces healthier, more vital wines, reflecting the character of the vineyard.

501 is made using crushed powdered quartz which has been stuffed into a horn of a cow, buried in the ground in spring and dug up in the autumn. Like horn manure (preparation 500) it is dynamised in rain water and then sprayed over the vines. Preparation 501 is used to enhance growth and to help prevent fungal diseases. At this time of year it needs to be sprayed as near to sunrise as possible for maximum effect and to prevent burning of the leaves.

Alex thinks that I'm completely bonkers but we will see! Some of the best wines in the world practice biodynamic farming, including  Coulee de Serrant, Domaine de Romanee Conti, Domaine Laflaive, Beaux Freres in Oragon and Henschke in Australia. In Burgandy alone there are more than forty biodynamic estates.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Leaf Removal

Leaf Removal using a Collard machine
Around this time of year it is important to remove some of the foliage around the forming bunches of grapes. This opens up the canopy which improves airflow and reduces the risk of disease. It also allows the grapes to be exposed to more sunlight which improves flavour characteristics. Those of you interested in more detail should read Dr Richard Smart's excellent book Sunlight in Wine.

Last year we removed the leaves by hand but now that we have 21,000 vines it's too much work to do manually and so this year we decided to use the services of Andy from Upperton Vineyards who has a machine made by Collard to do the job.

Rapid pulses of relatively low pressure air literally shake the leaves to pieces and blows the debris out of the canopy leaving the grapes more exposed to the sunlight. The process only took about a day and a half for the whole vineyard.

Bunches exposed after leaf removal


Thursday, 18 July 2013

35.8C on the Vineyard!

A Sunny Albury Organic Vineyard in the Surrey Hills


The temperature on the vineyard reached 35.8C yesterday at around 2.00pm as we completed the wire lifting on Block B. We were wilting but the vines are very happy with flowering, and now fruit set, throughout the vineyard.

Now that I'm a farmer I find that I'm generally always complaining about the weather, but the current sunny warm spell couldn't be better for the vines. This hopefully bodes well for a good harvest later in the year. If the warm weather continues we could pick around 20-25 tonnes of fruit which would be around seven times more than last year!

Still I mustn't get too excited as much still needs to be done (more wire lifting, tipping of the vines, leaf plucking and weeding) and we will also need to avoid disease and the birds when the fruit begins to ripen. And then there is Alex to contend with who will be keen to pull off some of the bunches so as not to stress the vines!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Flowering and Fruit set

The beginning of flowering (Seyval)

Flowering has at last started on the vineyard, with most of the Chardonnay and Seyval showing around 25% flowers. The Pinots are a bit behind but with the current warm weather we hope that most of the vineyard will be in full flower the end of the weekend. The vines are several weeks behind their normal growth cycle because of the cold weather earlier in the year.

This is a critical time on the vineyard; immediately after flowering comes pollination and fruit set which is a major factor in determining how much how much fruit we will harvest later in the year. Vines pollinate themselves and for this to happen effectively we need a period of warm dry weather. For the last two years our summers have been wet and windy which meant that many of the grapes weren't fertilised properly. This resulted in straggly bunches which the French call Coulour or Millerandage.

Fingers and everything else crossed for the hot weather to last for a few more weeks.


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Silent Pool Rosé and the Albury Wine Club




Our Silent Pool Rosé 2012 was released for sale last Saturday 1st June 2013. Stockist include:

Kingfisher Farm Shop, Abinger Hammer       Sold Out already!     
Taurus Wines, Bramley                              Sold Out already!                   
The Guildford Wine Company, Shalford
The Vineyard, Dorking
Vintage Roots www.vintageroots.co.uk

Albury Wine Club

Nick Wenman, Alex Valsecchi and Stephen Skelton MW
at the inaugural meeting of the Albury Wine Club

As part of the release the Albury Wine Club held it’s inaugural event at the vineyard, attended by some 50 founder members. http://www.alburyvineyard.com/content/albury-wine-club

As well as tasting Silent Pool Rosé 2012 members were also able to sample the bubbly recently released by High Clandon vineyard and beer from the local Tillingbourne brewery. Great fun but completely shattered at the end of the day!



Thursday, 30 May 2013

Our first Bubbly is Bottled

John Worontschak of Litmus Wines and Marcus Sharp
 supervise the bottling of our first bubbly

Earlier this week I watched our first sparkling wine being bottled.

Since we planted our vines in 2009 and 2010, the weather has been against us and harvests have been extremely difficult. Non the less we have produced some excellent base wine which will hopefully result in a first class English bubbly.

The first Albury Estate Sparkling is a blend of juice from the grapes harvested in 2011 and 2012 and includes all the varietals grown on the vineyard including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and some Seyval. Only 1524 bottles have been produced which should be available for sale in time for Christmas 2014.

It only took around 30 minutes to bottle the wine using specialist equipment from France. Some yeast and sugar is added to start secondary fermentation in the bottle which gives the wine it's fizz, following which the wine will be left to develop it's character in the bottle for at least 18 months. This process is known as Method Traditionale or Methode Champenoise in France.

Can't wait!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Silent Pool Rosé 2012 to be released on 1st June


Silent Pool Rosé 2012 will be released for sale on the 1st June 2013, the beginning of English Wine Week.  It is one of the first English certified Organic wines and will be available at the following outlets:

Retail outlets
Alnwick Castle Gift Shop, Alnwick

The Guildford Wine Company, Shalford
Kingfisher's Farm Shop, Abinger Hammer
Secretts Farm Shop, Milford
Taurus Wines, Bramley
The Vineyard, Dorking
Vintage Roots www.vintageroots.co.uk

Pubs/Restaurants
Black Swan, Ockham
Drummond Arms, Albury
Kinghams Restaurant, Shere
RHS Wisley Restaurants, Wisley
Royal Opera House Restaurants, London
The Percy Arms, Chilworth
The William Bray, Shere
William IV, Little London

We'll be holding the first meeting of the Albury Wine Club at the vineyard on the 1st June (for members only). The Guildford Wine Company in Shalford will be hosting a tasting between 11.00am and 5.00pm. 

We are delighted with the quality of the wine which has been produced from hand picked biodynamic grapes from our own vineyard. Stephen Skelton MW, who is an expert on English wines, commented:

"Good fruit, nice balance with good acidity but not too aggressive. A worthy successor to the 2011. Amazing considering what the year was like."

Tasting Notes
"Silent Pool Rosé is an elegant, fresh, salmon coloured still Rosé wine made predominantly from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. On the nose, strawberry and cream, juice tangerine and cherry blossom aromas meld with layers of clean minerality. The wine displays enticing flavours of orange peel and bright citrus on the mid-palate, with balanced acidity and a long finish."

Winemaker, Ulrich Hoffmann

Friday, 10 May 2013

Bud Burst



We now have bud burst right across the vineyard. Bud burst, or bud break, is when you can see the first signs of leaves on the new shoots from the canes that have been tied down after pruning. These will develop into the shoots that will produce bunches of grapes later in the year.

As a result of the cold weather in March and early April, bud burst is probably six weeks behind last year. This is good news for us as we are therefore less susceptible to Spring frosts. Before bud burst swollen buds can withstand temperatures as low as -3C, whereas -1C would be a problem now. The weather forecast looks good for the next couple of weeks but we'll remain on frost alert for the time being. As the old saying goes "Ne'er cast a clout until May be out"!


Sunday, 21 April 2013

A Frosty Vineyard


It was bitterly cold on the vineyard last night with the soil reaching -7.6C and air temperatures as low as -3.6C. Fortunately, a result of the cold weather in March and early April, bud burst is late this year so hopefully there won't have been much damage.

Most of the vines are at "first swell", which means that the buds are showing on the canes but they are still brown with no colour. At this stage they can withstand temperatures as low as -10C. However when they have fully swollen,with some colour showing, they can only withstand -3C without being damaged. Once we have bud burst then any temperatures below -1C will be a problem.

A bud at Full Swell
The weather forecast look ok for the next few days but a frost is forecast for next weekend so it looks like we will soon be out in the middle of the night lighting the boujies again.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Our Vines are Weeping




It seems that Spring has finally arrived. We know this, not just because it warmer, but because our vines are weeping.

During the winter vines go into a deep state of dormancy and can withstand temperatures of -15C. But as the soil begins to warm up, and temperatures get above 10C, the vines start to wake up. The roots begin to absorb nutrients and water and osmosis pushes the sap up from the root system which is expelled from the pruning cuts made during the winter. This looks like the vines are weeping. It only lasts a few days but in some countries a single vine can expel up to 5 litres of water!

The sap provides energy to the vine which initiates bud break. This is late this year as a result of the cold weather in March and early April. That's good news for us as we are therefore there is less risk of damage to the buds from late frosts.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Silent Pool Rosé to be Served at the Royal Opera House



Our Silent Pool Rosé 2012 will be available at Royal Opera House Restaurants this summer.

Silent Pool Rosé was one of only three English wines served on the Royal Barge last year as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Made from a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes it is a refreshing still dry wine and is ideal as an accompaniment to light meals or al-fresco dining.

Ben Fielder, who is beverage manager for Royal Opera House Restaurants, said “The English wine industry is doing great things and with provenance an important part of our ethos, Albury Vineyard was of great interest. Following our tasting we are proud to have Silent Pool Rosé on our list.”


We are delighted that Silent Pool Rosé has been chosen to be served at another Royal establishment. We hope our quality sparkling wine will also be served at the Royal Opera House when it becomes available in 2015.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Silent Pool Rosé 2012


Earlier today I tasted our Silent Pool Rosé 2012, with Ulrich Hoffmann (the winemaker) and Stephen Skelton MW. In my opinion it's even better than the 2011 which, given the appalling weather last year, is a fantastic result. More importantly Stephen, who is an expert on English wines commented:

"Good fruit, nice balance with good acidity but not too agressive. A worthy successor to the 2011. Amazing considering what the year was like."

It seems that our decision to pick only the ripest fruit has really paid off and as a result we will be releasing a top quality wine that we can really be proud of. It will also be one of the first wines in Europe to be certified organic under the new EU regulations. Unfortunately, as we only used the very best grapes, supply will once again be very limited. We hope to release the wine in early May - details of stockists will be on the web site.


Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Albury Wine Club



The Albury Wine Club is for local wine and food lovers who are interested in English wines, particularly those produced by Albury Organic Vineyard.

The club aims to provide an insight into UK viticulture, as well as the inside story on what’s going on at the vineyard. Members will have an early opportunity to buy the wine at discounted prices and be the first to receive invitations to wine and food events being held at the vineyard.

Membership is priced at just £50/year per person and includes:
  • Two complimentary bottles of the award winning Silent Pool Rosé, as served on the Royal Barge as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. 
  • 10% discount on all wines purchased direct from the vineyard.
  • A free of charge members tour of the vineyard and a first tasting of the years vintage, prior to its release in May/June.
  • The opportunity to get involved in the harvest in October.
  • An invitation to the harvest party in November (free for all those involved in the harvest). 
  • A quarterly newsletter and regular email updates. 
We will formally launch the club in April. Our first event will be a pre-release tasting of Silent Pool Rosé 2012 at the vineyard in early May; invites will be sent out to Founder Members only.

To register your interest click here.

We look forward to showing you around the vineyard and sharing some great local wine and food experiences with you.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Vineyard in Winter



A snowy Albury Vineyard - photograph by John Powell

There's only one job that has to be done during the winter months and that's pruning, pruning and more pruning.

We use the "double Guyot"training method which means that the two fruiting arms from last year have to be cut back and two new fruiting arms have to be carefully selected for the coming year. We also try and leave two stubs near the crown, which should produce the fruiting arms for the following year. All the old wood has to be pulled out of the trellis and burnt so that any disease is destroyed. The pruning wounds are sprayed with trichoderma which helps to prevent disease and heal the wound.

We have 21,000 vines in the vineyard so that's a lot of work! Fortunately Alex is always ahead of the game. Having started well before Christmas she didn't stop for the snow and pruning should be pretty well finished by the end of this week. We will leave pruning some of the Chardonnay that are in the frost prone areas until March, in the hope that it will delay bud burst until after the risk of frost.

The next job will be to tie the fruiting arms to the trellis. This year we are going to try biodegradable ties.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Yeast - the X-Factor for Biodynamic Wine?


Recent studies at Stellenbosch University have suggested that variations in the aromatic properties of wine, from identical grapes harvested in the same vineyard, may be due to differences in the yeast composition within the vineyard. This is because the microbial species present on the berry may contribute to the fermentation process.

Whilst the same yeast-like fungus, Aureobasidium pullunans, known as black yeast, was dominant in all vineyards, the research supported results from other studies that biodynamic farming leads to greater richness of microbial diversity. In a conventional vineyard 11 species of yeast were found while 17 species were identified in a biodynamic vineyard.

Interestingly, “many yeasts with biocontrol potential” were found exclusively in a biodynamic vineyard, some of which are the natural enemy of botrytis. The authors speculated that this unique diversity could be as a result of the establishment of the natural enemies of different pests given the absence of pesticides and synthetic fungicides.

You can view the full study here.