Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tea Anyone?

The use of compost tea here at Seresin Estate is an important part of our vineyard management practices. A brew like none other you’ve had, we make it by adding good quality compost, straw, molasses, seaweed and humate to a large volume of water. This ‘brews’ and is aerated for 24 hours (pictured here). The process helps to release soluble nutrients and beneficial micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, nematodes, protozoa) into the liquid solution. The liquid, packed with all this goodness, is then sprayed onto the vines, olives and paddocks. The benefits are many, including improved plant nutrition, soil health and disease prevention. This year we have been using more compost tea to improve the organism diversity and competition on the leaf and berry surfaces, while reducing our use of sulphur for powdery mildew. We believe we’ve seen less dis-ease and thicker-skinned fruit where we’ve taken this approach.

Improvements in the works…. The good people at the Soil Foodweb have a wealth of knowledge and experience on compost teas. Seeking to make sure we are brewing the best tea we can, Sean Phillips and Wendy Sukeena from our vineyard team recently visited with Cherryle Prew from the Soil Foodweb Institute of New Zealand. There they learned how to identify micro-organisms in the compost tea which will enable us to regularly monitor our brews and ensure we have the balance correct for a good tea. We also learned ways to improve our compost tea in order to get the most benefit from it. Pictured here is a piece of beneficial fungi.

Photos provided courtesy of the Soil Foodweb Institute NZ Ltd

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Slow Food "Picking Party"

As the first event of Slow Food Marlborough, 40 people joined the Seresin team on Saturday morning to hand-pick part of the Rachel block of Pinot Noir at our Home Vineyard, almost the last of our blocks harvested for 2008. After hand-picking about half-a-tonne of Pinot Noir, the group destemmed berries by hand (see above) and then plunged the caps of some of the batches of Pinot Noir already fermenting in the barrel hall. We all tasted fresh, unfermented Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling juice before being treated to a morning tea prepared by Marcia Chang-Hong (see below).

Seresin Estate is pleased to support the principles of Slow Food and to support the activities of Slow Food Marlborough.