At Bele Casel, we are always looking for ways to enhance our vineyard’s health without the use of chemicals.
Zeolite. Most people know it through gardening and other types of farming. It’s usually used to improve the health of the soil (by helping it more easily retain nutrients and water). But it can also be used to help heal vines that have been damaged.
Zeo from the Greek zeo meaning “to boil”; -lite from the Greek lithus meaning stone.
It’s a category of extremely porous rock. It was discovered by a scientist who noticed that it released steam when heated. Hence the name it was given.
It’s used in many different applications in different industries to absorb moisture.
And in farming, it’s often mixed with fertilizer, for example, to help maximize the effect of the fertilizer.
Here at Bele Casel, we used it the other day in one of our vineyards not to enhance the soils but rather to contain damage to the vines from a small hail storm that grazed one of our vineyards.
In medicine, zeolite is used to help stop extreme bleeding. And by scattering some zeolite powder, we help the vines “heal” from the damage itself.
But the powder will also help to reduce humidity and moisture in the vineyard itself by absorbing the moisture. One of the biggest problems after a weather event like this is that the added humidity can create conditions more susceptible to rot. And when the plants have been damaged by hail, this can be extremely dangerous.
So the porous rock helps not only to heal the damaged vines. But it also helps to contain any mold or rot that could develop due to the presence of humidity.