The best of friends.
The careful use of living resources is the principle that guides us.
The first diagnosis of Dr. Andrew C. Lorand¹: "Too little life in the soil." Where would the vines get the strength to produce first-class grapes if not from a living soil?
In search of the lost terroir. Concerned about the vitality of the vines and the health of the grapes, the Count and Countess decided to follow Andrew Lorand's advice. A cure: changing to biodynamic winegrowing. Biodynamics is a subject that has always fascinated us. It fits in perfectly with our philosophy in life. This led to the decision to switch over to biodynamic wine growing. 2006 was our first completely biodynamic vintage. In 2007 Manincor and kindred spirits in a number of other wineries established “respekt-BIODYN” with the objective of working biodynamically to find a sustainable path to authentic quality. By 2009 all Manincor wines had full certification.
However, there was plenty of persuasion work to be done in the estate. The concept of biodynamic husbandry only works when it is supported by an inner attitude towards nature. At the beginning it was not easy to implement the biodynamic way of working on the farm. Plants need a healthy soil with a good humus content, rich in microorganisms, worms, ants and so on.
The conversion is now complete at Manincor. The walker espies a flock of sheep among the naked vines, small Breton Quessants which are ideal for life in the vineyard thanks to their hardiness. The diversity of plants which have appeared in the vineyard in the meantime provide a paradise for bees. Bee colonies from elsewhere also spend the season among the vines. The numerous nesting boxes are also popular among bird species living around the Lake of Kaltern.
Living biodiversity. Vineyards are interspersed with groups of trees and hedges; the ground in every second row of vines is tilled and a mixture of corn, flowers, clover, rape and other seeds are spread on the soil.
Natural cycles. Biodynamic cultivation and sustainable living and management are "work in progress". The cellar, newly built in 2004, is located underground, thus preserving valuable cultivation land. It is thermally covered by the vineyard soil; geothermal energy is also used for temperature equalisation.
A biomass plant works with wood chips from our forest and from apple and vine wood. Gravity over three storeys replaces the use of pumps to a large extent.
What happens next? It gives us great pleasure to see the mindful use our children make of sensitive resources and the protection they afford the natural cycles. In many steps large and small we are continuing with great enthusiasm along the road with have chosen.
¹ The author: Biodynamic mentor and consultant to Manincor and prominent wineries. Having practiced agriculture and winegrowing in Switzerland he studied agro-ecology in the USA and lectures on biodynamics.