Chicks in the vineyard are a good sign for grape growers

Chicks in the vineyard are a good sign that we are doing something right!

This week, Paola from Bele Casel post the above photo on the winery’s Facebook.

The caption?

“New lives in our vineyard.”

One of the greatest indications of the biodiversity of a given vineyard is the “life in the vineyard.”

Some people call it the “earth worm test.” But biodiversity can be measured also by all kinds of life. In fact, we have found snakes and birds and worms and all kinds of wildlife in our vineyards.

What it comes down to is this: If you are using toxic chemicals like herbicides and pesticides, the wildlife will stay away.

If you don’t use them and the environment is friendly and hospitable to them, they will thrive there.

Why would you want wild animals wandering around your vineyards and possibly eating or damaging the grapes on the vines, you ask?

The answer to that question is that their presence and their bodily functions — i.e., their pooping! — helps to give the soil the nitrogen that it needs to be “alive.” It helps to create the “hummus” or “earth” as the biodynamic farmers call it.

We are not biodynamic farmers. But we do subscribe to many of the tenets of biodynamic farming.

We are not “natural winemakers” either. But we definitely adhere to many of that movement’s principles as well.

In fact, where many of the natural wine authorities used to test the soils for chemicals and chemical residues and runoffs from other farms, they are no measuring biodiversity and have largely abandoned the monitoring of the chemicals themselves.

If you claim to farm organically (as organic, biodynamic and natural winemaker farmers all do), then the proof is in the pudding —or the pooping (excuse the pun).

Seriously, if the biodiversity is there, you know that there are no chemicals there. And you know that you are doing something right.

When Paola found these little chicks, we knew we were on to something!

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