CORVEZZO on 20-04-2016

ORGANIC PROSECCO AND MORE: YELLOW STRIPES




This spring as every spring, under the vines you can clearly see long yellow stripes of dried grass burned by chemical herbicides. Weedkillers are polluting the environment, the wine that we drink and the beauty of the Italian landscape.

 

It is true: control of damaging weeds is necessary in spring time, however…

After winter, when temperatures start to rise again, weeds spread in the vineyard. These plants not only steal mineral substances and water, but also create the perfect environment for insects vectors of vine diseases.

This situation, if left uncontrolled, can seriously damage the vines and therefore the grapes.

Weed control is crucial in order to create a high quality wine; however, in my opinion there is a big difference between “control” and “complete destruction of every plants under the vine”!

I note with regret that we are seeing more and more grass made yellow by herbicides in our vineyards in the guise of weed control.

 

The good news is that we have alternatives: differences between Organic weed control and Chemical weed control

Chemical herbicides are banned in organic farming and we have to use alternative techniques to control damaging weeds.

Mechanical weeding has the disadvantage of increase workforce, but it also brings lot of advantages:

  • Environmental sustainability: no pollution by chemical herbicides.
  • Healthier wine: no herbicides residues in wine.
  • Creation of a natural ecosystem in the vineyard: not all useful plants and damaging weeds are exterminated, this maintain the floral balance in the vineyard.
  • Oxygenation of soil: mechanical weeding, such as strip cultivation, by digging over the ground helps to oxygenate the soil.

Chemical weeding is faster, but the environmental and health cost is very high with several disadvantages:

  • Environmental unsustainability: herbicides contaminate the soil and pollute groundwater.
  • Contamination of wine: guess where do all the herbicides absorbed by the vine’s roots go?
  • Creation of an unnatural ecosystem in the vineyard: only the strongest weed survive the herbicide’s effect.
  • Disfigurement of the landscape.

 

The final judgment here rests with you

I don’t mean to stand in judgment and tell you what is right or wrong. I just want to share with you my experience as Organic Prosecco Producer and give you some food for though.

However, I would like to leave you with a fact and with a provocation:

  • Fact: EU is considering banning Glyphosate (word’s #1 used herbicide), since IARC (international Agency for Research declared it as a probable carcinogen.
  • Provocation: if you have to choose between a vineyard with the grass burned by herbicides and an organic vineyard full of flower and green grass as “the perfect spot for your picnic”, which one would you choose?

Happy farmer