First planted in 1999, the vines at Harris Organic Wines’ 5 acre vineyard are created by hand - from the first budburst of Spring to the final pruning in grey winter, the organic vineyard (where beautiful wine begins) is carefully tended by Duncan.
Because the Harris Organic vineyard is managed using organic principles of viticulture, no pesticides or herbicidal chemicals are used on or around the vines, nor are the vines artificially fertilised.
The vines are weeded uses a strip digger in spring to turn over the nitrogen-rich winter growth to become ‘green manure’ – returning nutrients to the soil and encouraging earth worm and microbial activity.
Everything is done by hand at Harris Organic Wines; from pruning to most importantly, the picking of the fruit later in summer; this means there are no machine battered vines or wines at Harris Organic wines – you could say that we are happy producers of “free range" wines.
The vines are planted on rich duplex soils. They are not irrigated and therefore have to fend for themselves. Their roots are deep into the clay subsoil layers to extract the little water available during the summer months.
The vines are trained on VSP trellis, a 5 wire system to maintain the vine shoots are growing in a vertical position. VSP is a modern system where the canopy is kept thin to let in light and maintain air flow. Leaf, and soil analysis reports to us any elements that we need to amend so as to maintain optimal growing conditions.
The vines maintain a healthy canopy because of the above system, making it easy to summer prune and drive the tractor along the three metre wide rows.