Since 2009 Giesen Wines has made a significant investment in organics, which by 2017 has resulted in 11% of the company’s Marlborough vineyards being Certified Organic with BioGro New Zealand. Whilst 11% of our vineyards are certified organic, we are committed to organics philosophy and culture throughout our entire viticulture programme with all of our fruit being sustainably grown.
Our organics journey began with the Giesen brothers ripping out the 8.4 hectare Ridge Block Vineyard and leaving the land fallow for a year before replanting in October 2010 as wholly organic, close-planted Pinot Noir and Syrah. At the same time Giesen’s Wairau Valley vineyards, Dillon’s Point and Stump Creek moved to organic management. Ridge Block and Clayvin vineyards are Certified Organic through BioGro New Zealand. In early 2015 Giesen Wines purchased the Certified Organic Clayvin Vineyard and began transitioning the Hunter Vineyard to organic.
Marcel Giesen explains; “organics is about improving our soil structure and helping the soil to hold onto water and nutrients. If the land is continually replenished, the soil will be healthy, so will the plants and the fruit.”
We always endeavour to use best practice in all of our sustainable viticulture, to ensure we make the best possible fruit.
We recycle all waste; we have invested in an extensive composting programme; we use EM (effective microbials) throughout the year which ensures we have the best microbial environment in the vineyard; we plant complex inter-row cover crops which helps with aerating content and belding the soil. We are committed to reducing the use of pesticides, weed sprays, systematic fertilisers. We encourage a self-feeding system which replenishes soil, nutrition and flora within the vineyard.
As part of our composting programme we have built a semi-enclosed impermeable compost pad that stops the compost from leeching into the ground, which can contaminate the water supply under ground. We have developed a leechate collection system where we collect leechate in a tank and reapply it back to the compost when the compost needs wetting. This reapplies nutrition back into the compost. We believe we are the only winery leading with this type of sustainability initiative in Marlborough.
We also grow native plants around our vineyards, we have beehives and have planted fruit and nut trees throughout our properties, all of which we share the produce with our Giesen team and community.