Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Making Rainbows

At the start of veraison, the time when the berries begin to ripen, we apply biodynamic preparation 501 – the horn silica preparation. This preparation is made from quartz crystal (silica) that has been ground to a very fine powder and then buried in the soil in cow horns over the summer. It is said that the properties of the silica help the vines to connect more strongly to the cosmic or airy forces, particularly sunlight. By applying this to our ripening grapes, we hope to increase the amount of photosynthesis the plant is performing and the amount of sugar in the plants, therefore the fruit. It’s like giving the vines a boost of liquid sunshine.

The application of preparation 501 begins well before sunrise… at 5:30 a.m. our dedicated team begins by filling barrels (to be hand-stirred) and our flow form with warm water – it needs to be right around body temperature before we can add in the 501. The preparation 501 is first mixed in a bucket and then introduced into the larger volume of water. We use 2.5g of the preparation in 32.5L of water for one hectare. We stir this for one hour, creating vortices, everyone taking turns.

Just as the sun is rising, we set out to apply all we have made in just one hour – before the sun begins to warm things up. We use a very fine mist that hovers in the air... Here you can see Sonya at Raupo and Kevin off in the distance, and if you are lucky you get to make a rainbow!

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